FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY TO DEVELOP ACTION PLAN FOR MELLON PARK Non-Profit Collaborating with City, Community Groups to Ensure All Park Users’ Needs Are Met
PITTSBURGH – MAY 4, 2021 – Thanks to the generous support of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and in partnership with the City and the broader community, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy announced today that it will begin developing a comprehensive “Action Plan” for Mellon Park. The goal of the Action Plan will be to create a unified vision for the park based on community and municipal priorities for park restoration, developments, and activities. 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 Action Plan will be the first comprehensive look at the entire park, including the northern half of the park with its popular recreational amenities. The project timeline will extend through December 2021.
“Public engagement is at the core of this work,” said Gavin White, community projects manager, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. “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.”
The Park Conservancy is partnering with leading neighborhood and community groups that have a stake in the park and its surrounding area, 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. 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,” said Elizabeth Seamans, President of Friends of Mellon Park.
“Engaging the many diverse neighborhoods that surround Mellon Park in a deep and meaningful way during this planning process will be critical to its success,” White added. “The Parks Conservancy and our partners intend to emphasize the importance of both sides of Mellon Park and the diverse users of each. We will be looking for ways to improve connections for adjacent neighborhoods as well as those in nearby communities without suitable access to this centrally located public space.”
Residents and community members are encouraged to attend the first set of virtual community input meeting to learn more about the project and to have their voice heard. The meeting schedule and registration links are provided below.
Saturday, May 8 from 1:00 – 3:00 P.M. Tuesday, May 11 from 12:00 – 1:30 P.M. Wednesday, May 12 from 6:00 – 7:30 P.M.
The Action Plan will address key issues including connectivity, recreation, accessibility, sustainability, historic preservation, and park management. It will be structured to provide City departments, community residents, and other park stakeholders with prioritized recommendations and cost estimates for future improvements that support a shared vision for the park.
Specific elements to be considered in the planning process include:
• The park’s history and evolution, including relationship between southern and northern sections;
• Parking and transportation access, including vehicles, public transit, bicycles, and pedestrians;
• Current physical conditions, including vegetation, paving, drainage, lighting, structures, sports and play facilities;
• Contemporary and future uses, including daily use and special events;
• Activation and programming;
• Comfort station and concessions;
• New amenities;
• Public art;
• Ecology and green infrastructure; and
• Management, operations, and maintenance.
Final, published documents will include a workbook that documents in sketches, maps, survey excerpts, and graphic components, the visioning process, outcomes, and priority projects identified in the planning process. These materials will also include an implementation strategy, cost estimates for capital construction, fundraising plan and timeline, and management recommendations.
To get involved with the Mellon Park Action Plan project, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the project landing page https://engage.pittsburghpa.gov/mellon-park-action-plan to complete the planning survey and learn more.
About Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy:
Now celebrating its 25th year, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy was founded in December 1996 by a group of citizens concerned with the deteriorating conditions of Pittsburgh’s historic city parks. A non-profit organization, the Parks Conservancy works closely with the City of Pittsburgh under an official public-private partnership agreement to restore and improve the city’s park system to its full potential. To date, the Parks Conservancy has raised more than $130 million and completed 22 major park improvement projects. The Parks Conservancy works with thousands of volunteers, hosts hundreds of events, and provides programming for more than 7,500 children annually.