6 new parks in Pittsburgh will span 300-plus acres and 11 neighborhoods
This article first appeared at NEXTpittsburgh.com, a media partner of Kidsburgh. Sign up here for NEXTpittsburgh’s free newsletter filled with all the latest news about the people driving change in our city and the innovative and cool things happening here. Photo above of Seldom Seen Greenway by Jennifer Baron.
There will soon be six new parks in Pittsburgh, located in neighborhoods across the city.
On Dec. 21, Pittsburgh City Council is expected to agree to transfer properties from the Greenways for Pittsburgh program to city ownership. That will ensure the sites are better positioned for maintenance in the future, says James Hill, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto.
“The mayor is fully confident it will pass without any issue next week,” says Hill. “That opens them up to more funding opportunities than they had as greenways, as well as increased collaboration with community groups to create greater opportunities for public use.”
Peduto and the City Planning Department asked the council to designate the greenways for adoption as park space, along with some adjacent vacant properties the city owns.
They’ll become six new parks spanning more than 300 acres across many neighborhoods, including Allentown, Beechview, Brookline, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hazelwood, the Hill District, Mt. Washington, Overbrook, Polish Hill and the South Side Slopes.
“They were parks in everything but name,” says Hill. “They’re mostly preservation areas, natural and perfect for hiking. They’re essential, small natural preserves.”
The new parks — Bigelow, Fairhaven, Hazelwood, Knoxville Incline, Moore and Seldom Seen — will be placed under the Public Works and Parks & Recreation (CitiParks) departments.
Peduto’s office says the city is dedicated to maintaining parks and greenways that advance stewardship, equity and Pittsburgh’s economy.
The nearly 100-acre Seldom Seen greenway at the base of Mt. Washington, for example, is known for its streams with rock formations, says Hill, and Knoxville Incline makes use of a historic incline property that connects the South Side Flats with the hilltop and offers great views.
In the city’s OpenSpacePGH plan — part of the 2013 Comprehensive Plan created under former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl — the City Planning Department set goals for open space parks and recreation areas that could capitalize on Pittsburgh’s natural and cultural resources.
The idea was to “enhance the relationship between nature and the built environment,” Peduto’s office says, and to “foster a citywide sense of community [and] strengthen neighborhood identity.”
The designation of the new parks will also move the city closer to its 2030 goal, set in the OnePGH resilience strategy, of providing residents with affordable neighborhood access to environmental amenities and programming. That plan suggests increasing the number of people living within a 10-minute (or half-mile) walk to a CitiPark amenity.
View a map of the greenway trails here.