Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

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safely enjoy your parks through the seasons 

Pittsburgh's parks are a wonderful outlet for all to enjoy year-round, especially during challenging times! Park users must ensure that they are following all safety guidelines, such as physical distancing and masking when visiting public spaces. 

Remember, we have to look out for one another to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As we continue navigating through this unprecedented time, the Parks Conservancy continues connecting park users and environmental enthusiasts to nature through digital offerings on the Parks on the Go digital education and nature resource landing page. 

Parks on the Go provides environmental experiences including virtual tours, health and wellness exercises, education resources for Pre K through 12 educators, as well as exciting activities and resources for families and caregivers, and much more.

Don't forget that it takes all of us to slow the spread of COVID-19. Remember to wear a mask and practice physical distancing during your upcoming park visits. If we stick together by staying apart we can keep one another safe and healthy. 

Duquesne Light Volunteers Allegheny Commons 2020
north promenade project nears completion 

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy recently announced that the first phase of the Allegheny Commons Park North Promenade rehabilitation project is near completion. 

The North Promenade project aims to restore the promenade to its historic 1935 path pattern, including the 15-foot-wide central Promenade along North Avenue, while removing unnecessary paths and excess pavement.

"Allegheny Commons is a longtime gathering site for all of Pittsburgh, and this new Promenade will make the park even more beautiful and accessible for all. I want to thank the Parks Conservancy and our many North Side partners for their continued work on this effort," Mayor William Peduto said.

The first phase of construction encompassed the area between the Northeast Fountain and Federal Street. New tree plantings feature a central allée of canopy trees with a variety of understory trees flanking the lawn. Energy-efficient lighting has also been added. Historically appropriate benches will soon be installed along the Promenade and will span from the restored Northeast Fountain to Federal Street. The second phase of construction will cover the area between Federal Street and the George Washington Memorial between North Avenue and Arch Street.

Click here to learn more about this project! 

recognizing pittsburghers of color

Enjoy a powerful blog about three conservation and environmental justice professionals who are making a big impact on Pittsburgh. 

Danielle Andrews-Brown: lecturer and the Environmental Studies Program Coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh 

Tiffany Taulton: Director of Community Initiatives with the Hazelwood Initiative 

Clif McGill: Lifelong nature enthusiast

Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Parks Conservancy intern, Meredith for authoring this blog!

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then and now: northeast fountain 

Parks and green spaces are essential parts of the lives of all Pittsburghers. Throughout the past several months, Pittsburghers recognized the importance of parks and green spaces in helping the community cope during crises. This has allowed all of us at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to reflect upon our long-standing partnership with the city of Pittsburgh and the work we have accomplished together to restore Pittsburgh's park system to excellence. One of our most memorable projects to date is the Northeast Fountain, located in Allegheny Commons Park. 

Situated in Allegheny Commons, Pittsburgh's oldest park, the original Northeast Fountain stood for decades as a focal point of the park experience and community pride before its decommissioning after World War II, when it became a planting bed. A $2.5 million restoration of the fountain was completed in spring 2019. The new Northeast Fountain matches the original in size and scale and has once again become a community gathering space.

The Parks Conservancy is honored to work alongside the city of Pittsburgh, local community members, and to have friends like you to support our neighborhood and park improvement projects year-round.

Stay tuned for more fun facts about this historic project throughout the month!

join the park champion clean up effort 

Park Champion, Leigh Anne, is doing her part to give back to her local park. Leigh Anne has collected 34 bags of trash in Grandview Park in 2020! 

Outdoor spaces are busier than ever, which has led to greater human impact on the parks. In October alone, local park use increased by more than 81% over baseline.

Interested in joining the clean up effort and making a positive impact on your parks? 

Click here to learn more about how you can get involved!

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winter birding webinar

Are you looking for ways to stay active and appreciate the outdoors this winter? Join Parks Conservancy Naturalist Educator Stephen Bucklin for a free one-hour Zoom class on Wednesday, December 16 and learn about the basics of winter birding. The webinar will review tools and tips for winter birding and species you’re most likely to see in Pittsburgh's urban green spaces while giving you a chance to practice and hone your bird identification skills. This class is intended for beginner and novice birders.

Click here to register!
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dead, but alive: snags and coarse woody debris 

"As our climate changes and new stressors add to the old, many people might be noticing that big trees in their yards are beginning to decline and die. Often when people see the downward trajectory of a tree they hire someone to come in and remove it, under the guise that the tree may be hazardous or an eyesore. This conception is one that I would like to challenge all people to re-evaluate. Dead and dying trees are immensely valuable to a multitude of wildlife species and for a variety of ecosystem services..."

Click here to continue reading. 

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home for the holidays 

Together, let’s reimagine our outdoor spaces! Parks provide plenty of space for educators to take their classrooms outdoors, families to celebrate their special occasions and explore together year-round!

As we continue adjusting to our new normal, parks can serve as a valued place for learning, meeting, and safely celebrating the holiday season.

Let's step outside to explore, create, and celebrate! 

Remember, parks are for all seasons.

Click here to learn more. 

Fezziwig Grove

the american yellowwood experiement

Ten known specimens are already growing in the Pittsburgh area. The Conservancy collected seeds from those trees to plant in the Schenley Park “Fezziwig” Tree Research Grove. Fezziwig was a character in Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol,” a generous mentor of Ebeneezer Scrooge. He was chosen as the namesake of this grove by the man who made the research possible — Tor Richter, a retired Navy physician who donated the money for the conservancy to undertake the long-term mission.

Dr. Richter, who lives in Oakland, decided several years ago to consider designating some of his money for a charitable project. 

"I was thinking along the line of stomwater run-off control, and I am interested in genetics," he said. "I live a block or so from Schenley Plaza and I saw the Conservancy make a park out of a parking lot. I got to talking to them." 

Click here to continue reading about Fezziwig Grove. 

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remember to #loveyourparks 

"We are so lucky to have these big beautiful parks right in our backyards of a big city. We look forward to our daily trips to Frick Park, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic since we are limiting the places we go to. We feel safe going to the parks as most people are either wearing masks and respecting physical distance. You can expect to find us here all winter long. The colder and snowier, the better!" - Guinness The Chocolate Lab

 intern videos

in the spotlight: parks conservancy interns

The Parks Conservancy's amazing group of interns have a passion for parks and the outdoors! This semester's group of interns recently completed nature-based videos to enjoy from the comfort of your home. 
Select a video link below to get started!  

Sounds of the Parks Learning Leaves Leaf Rubbing Activity 

Exploring Habitats  | 
Come to Pittsburgh, Crows Frick Environmental Center Tour

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enhance your time in nature

Reserve one of our themed backpacks! Choose between four different backpacks, each with its unique materials and resources to help experience the park in a new and exciting way. Keeping safety in mind, our team has also created a contact-less procedure for backpack borrowing.

Explore the following backpack themes below!

The Meadow Backpack, for learning about insects, spiders, and butterflies and a book about common meadow creatures;

The Forest Backpack, featuring a ‘Bird Identiflyer’ for identifying and making bird calls;

The Stream Backpack, with tools, such as a sieve and aquaviewer, for discovering what lives in the local pond or creek; and

The Health Backpack, with hiking poles, a hammock, and a ‘FitBit’ to help visitors measure their workouts.

To receive a backpack, please submit a reservation by 3:00 p.m. on the Friday before your reservation date, then pick-up the backpack on the designated Saturday or Sunday at the open-air gatehouse at the Frick Environmental Center.

Click here to learn more and reserve your backpack for your next park adventure!

Special thanks to the Katherine Bassara Memorial Fund and the Howard and Carol Lang Family Foundation Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation for making this program possible!


Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

317 East Carson Street, West Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
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