Parks Conservancy to develop action plan for Mellon Park, including restoration, development

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy announced on Tuesday that it will begin developing a comprehensive “action plan” for Mellon Park.

The goal of the plan will be to create a unified vision of community and municipal priorities for future park projects, such as restorations, new developments and park activities.

The plan will address issues including connectivity, recreation, accessibility, sustainability, historic preservation, and park management, officials said, and will provide the community with prioritized recommendations and cost estimates for park projects.

“Public engagement is at the core of this work,” said Gavin White, PPC Community Parks Manager. “It is essential that this planning process be community driven. We’re excited to help move Mellon Park forward for the many communities it serves.”

Officials say that the action plan will expand on the “Mellon Park Preservation and Management Plan,” completed in 2000, which focused on historical and cultural assets in the southern section of the park. The new plan will be the first comprehensive developmental look at the entire park.

The timeline for the plan is expected to run through December 2021, officials said.

Specific elements to be incorporated in the planning process include the park’s history and evolution, parking and transportation access, physical conditions of the park, new amenities, green infrastructure, public art and more.

The PPC is partnering with community groups that have a stake in the park and its surrounding area, officials said, including The Friends of Mellon Park; East Liberty Development, Inc.; Point Breeze Organization; Homewood Concerned Citizens; Larimer Consensus Group; Operation Better Block; Shadyside Action Coalition; and Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, along with several other public and private agencies.

“Friends of Mellon Park is deeply gratified to learn that the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy are recommitting themselves to all of Mellon Park and to all of the people to whom it belongs,” said Elizabeth Seamons, President of Friends of Mellon Park. “We look forward to participating in a robust community process to improve the park on both sides of Fifth Avenue and to make it welcoming to everyone.”

Officials encourage residents and community members to attend the first set of community input meetings in order to learn more about the plan and to have their voices heard.

The meetings will take place on Saturday, May 8 from 1p.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, May 11 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Wednesday, May 12 from 6pm to 7:30 p.m.

More information about the meetings can be found on the action plan’s website.

First Published May 4, 2021, 1:46pm