In 2020, more Pittsburghers flocked to the parks than ever before!

Learn more about park lover Linda Haddad and why she enjoys spending time in Pittsburgh's parks.


 Do you find yourself spending more time in your parks during the pandemic?

Perhaps not. And I say that only because even before COVID-19, I was in the parks as often as I could manage. I must admit that the pandemic has sapped some of the joy from our park visits as we do not stop to talk to others. Plus, we move as far away as possible when we pass others, as all the walkers and runners do.

Why do you choose to spend time in the parks?

The parks are delightful in a variety of ways. I became hooked on the parks more than 40 years ago when I first arrived in Pittsburgh to go to law school. Of course, as a student, I had no entertainment budget and a love of tennis. So I spent as much time as I could at the tennis courts. I often did not have a partner, but that was never a problem as I signed in when I arrived and settled in with a book or newspaper and a couple snacks. Invariably others would show up with just a racquet and no partner, so we could always get a game.

What is your favorite park activity? 

After tennis, my next favorite is walking through the forests. They are a treasure. My husband and I see all kinds of birds and animals and people. It's nice to see other park users who also cherish the parks, so we already have something in common with total strangers.  

Why do you choose to support your parks? 

Because they belong to all of us. I am often overwhelmed with gratitude for our parks. The story of Ms. Frick, who told her father that she wished for him to donate a portion of their property as a park for the public as her coming out gift, still almost moves me to tears. 

Some of us are fortunate enough to travel or to have yards to play in or other safe environments to sit outdoors and read a book. Our beautiful parks are earthly delights that are available to all. That's what I call a treasure.

A woman standing near a tree in Frick Park.
Linda Haddad in Frick Park.
A picture of Frick Park during early fall.
A photo from Linda's trip to Frick Park in early fall.
A man walking in the snow in Frick Park.
Linda's husband enjoying a winter walk in Frick Park.