What if you could find fun, exercise, relaxation, stress management, education, entertainment, love of nature, and more all in one place? That one place may be a Pittsburgh City Park close to your home. Our parks are real treasures that even some local residents are not familiar with. The rich history of the individual parks is extensive and adds value to our community and cultural past. And the availability of safe, clean, accessible parks is an asset to our present and future community and culture.
My wife and I have lived next to Phillips Park in Carrick for 52 years and spent much time there with our kids and grandkids. Down through the years my family has played all types of sports from softball to disc golf, basketball to tennis, and watched others compete. We have also enjoyed outdoor Shakespearean plays, attended shows and activities indoors, and participated in countless community events in the park. While Covid halted most group activities, I did my “pandemic walks” around the park and often relaxed while appreciating the wonders of nature in the trees and wildlife.
In addition to Phillips Park, my family has explored Schenley Park, Riverside Park, Frick Park and some of the smaller parks and found that each has its own personality. One constant in all the parks is the friendly exchanges from the dog-walkers and the laughter and joy from children and families. Such a nice change from the stress and challenges that so many face today!
While the city might maintain our parks, we all have a share in caring for them. Parks are a vital part of our overall community and are open to all of us. We all must help to keep them safe, clean, and accessible.
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy believes that being outdoors and in the parks are a wonderful outlet if the stress and anxiety of the current situation is weighing heavily on you and your loved ones. Be sure to spend time outdoors to help decompress; explore a new trail, listen to the birds; read a book; play catch with your children. Be sure to follow all physical distancing recommendations from the CDC and avoid surfaces where the virus can live such as handrails and playground equipment. And be sure to wash your hands when you get home.