Our city has a plethora of gorgeous parks where we can spend our days playing, relaxing, exercising, and learning about nature. Several of these parks have been restored over the years or they need ongoing work to maintain their beauty.
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that has partnered with the City of Pittsburgh since 1998 to restore our parks. They are active in 22 parks, they have raised $118 million for our parks system, and they have completed 20 capital improvement projects.
Much of their work includes overseeing the design and construction of amenities in the parks, creating and maintaining trails and gardens, cleaning up trash, weeds, and invasive plant species, planting trees, shrubs, and flowers, and completing ecological restoration projects.
Their mission is to “improve the quality of life for the people of Pittsburgh by restoring the park system to excellence in partnership with government and the community. Projects and programs are conducted with respect for the environment, historic design, and the needs of our diverse region.”
Part of their respect for the needs of our region includes a “Parks Listening Tour” that they conducted from the end of 2018 to April 2019 in more than 70 neighborhoods. They met with key community members, conducted surveys, and attended neighborhood meetings to gather feedback about what each community wanted for their parks.
Erin Tobin, Community Engagement Manager for the Conservancy says, “there’s a relationship between the quality of a park and its community.”
The Conservancy provides over 200 free public programs and serves more than 5,000 youths annually in their education programs, plus they host frequent events and volunteer days to help Pittsburghers engage with the parks. There is also a Parks Rx program that was created in partnership with the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to encourage healthiness via exploring our parks.
To learn more about the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and how to get involved, visit www.pittsburghparks.org.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.