A nonprofit organization, the Parks Conservancy has worked closely with the City of Pittsburgh since 1998 under an official public interest partnership agreement to restore the city's parks.
To date, the Parks Conservancy has raised more than $130 million for parks and has completed 22 major improvement projects. Currently active in 22 of the city's 163 parks, the Parks Conservancy has expanded into community and neighborhood parks throughout Pittsburgh.
MISSION AND VISION
Improving 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. Wide appreciation and enjoyment of a sustainable park system whose landscapes, facilities and programming set world standards of excellence.
OUR PARTNERS IN THE PARKS
The City of Pittsburgh and its Departments of Public Works and Parks & Recreation - known as CitiParks - cultivate 3,800 acres of parkland in 163 parks. Together, they provide citywide events and festivals, public pools, recreation and senior centers, and innovate programming for children and seniors. We remain committed to enhancing the vision of the "Father of our Parks" Director of Public Works Edward Manning Bigelow, whose efforts first secured such landmark gifts as Highland and Schenley Parks. The City of Pittsburgh is making record investments in these critical places that shape the very fabric of our neighborhoods. For more information about Pittsburgh's CitiParks, visit: CitiParks.net
OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
The Parks Conservancy entered its 25th year with a continued focus on equity, one of the organization’s foundational tenets. Equity efforts these past two years were highlighted by the development of an equitable investment strategy for the entire park system. Working closely with the city of Pittsburgh, the equitable investment strategy is a data-driven plan to improve parks that have suffered due to decades of systemic disinvestment.
The Conservancy raised funds and initiated capital projects that improved parks serving diverse communities. The organization was much lauded for the 2019 restoration of the Northeast Fountain in Allegheny Commons, which has become a focal point for the North Side community. In 2021, the Conservancy restored a portion of the Allegheny Commons North Promenade, with plans to continue restoration of the Promenade in accordance with the park’s Master Plan. In McKinley Park, one of the City’s largest community parks, a green infrastructure capital project was completed in 2020.
Equity and engagement with diverse audiences remains a principle of the Conservancy’s education and programming outreach. In 2020, for the first time, Conservancy staff collaborated with Citiparks and Learn and Earn teams on the Meet Me in the Parks community program. The Conservancy facilitated nature activities at or near city parks that served as summer food distribution sites in Homewood, the Hill District, North Side, and East Liberty.
In early 2021, the nonprofit solicited proposals to establish a contract with a qualified and experienced Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant. Now, in partnership with Venture Outdoors and Grow Pittsburgh, the organization has taken the next steps in this process. The partnering nonprofits recently held an internal training with their collective staff members, led by the selected consultant. This training is the first step in a year-long process to address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues at the organization, focusing on racial equity and guidance on how to best support Black Pittsburghers and park users.
YOUR PARKS MATTER
Parks thrive when they have sun, soil, rain…and you. You ensure programs are offered, trees are planted, capital projects are funded, flowers are tended to, research is pursued. There is nothing the parks can’t do with you behind them.