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"For the Love of Parks" is an original podcast series created by the Parks Conservancy in commemoration of our 25th anniversary. The 12-episode series will highlight compelling stories from everyday park users, civic leaders, and Conservancy staff about their experiences and connections to Pittsburgh's beloved parks. For the Love of Parks will offer a deep dive into the history of Pittsburgh's parks and will explore these public spaces as you have never heard them before.

Episodes will soon be available below and through leading podcast subscription apps, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and more.

EPISODE SEVEN: January 10, 2022

FROM PARKING LOT TO PARK The Story of Schenley Plaza

A secret marriage. Steamships racing across the Atlantic. An incredible gift of land. That’s how the story of Schenley Park begins. And even though it might feel like the front lawn of the University of Pittsburgh, Schenley Plaza is actually a part of Schenley Park. Edward Bigelow, known as the "Father of Pittsburgh Parks," had always hoped the Plaza would serve as a grand entrance to the park, but it took a while for the area to become what it is today...the green heart of Oakland. 


EPISODE EIGHT: January 17, 2022

McKinley Park Community is Key

McKinley Park is one of the oldest parks in Pittsburgh. As far back as people can remember, McKinley has been the backdrop of picnics, fish frys, family reunions, parades, concerts and childhood memories. In contrast to how large McKinley Park looms in the lives of community members, a lot of Pittsburghers have never even heard of it. And in some ways, people on the Hilltop feel forgotten.


EPISODE NINE: January 24, 2022

HIGHLAND PARK "The Finest Breathing Room in the City"

The reservoir at Highland Park was built in 1879, and the park was officially created around it about 20 years later. It was the brainchild of Edward Bigelow, Pittsburgh's first Director of Public Works, who called it the "finest breathing room in the city." So on any given day, you will meet people from all over the region. And one of the reasons it is such a popular place for walking is because of the reservoir - there's just something about being in the sight of water that draws people in. But this reservoir - there's a story there.


EPISODE TEN: February 7, 2022

A WORK IN PROGRESS Lawrenceville's Arsenal Park

Arsenal Park is a place where solemnity and joy sit side by side. It was the site of the largest single loss of civilian life during the Civil War. 78 people were killed  - most were women and children. And even though some of the historical structures from that time remain, many who use the park today have no idea about its history. The tragedy that happened there has been overshadowed by new memories. That’s something a park is particularly good at  – creating new stories. 

For the past seven years, the citizens of Lawrenceville have been engaged in a master plan for their beloved park that they hope will honor its past and reimagine its future. But  Arsenal Park is still in that sometimes rocky period of going from vision to reality. 


EPISODE ELEVEN: February 7, 2022

Landslides, Out-of-Control Deer, Crazy Jumping Worms, Vines: The Ecological Threats Facing Riverview Park

We are back in Riverview Park for this episode and the story we want to tell this time is about the very serious ecological threats facing many of our city parks, especially this one. Any geologist will tell you that the geology of Pittsburgh, and especially Riverview Park, is unstable shale. That makes conditions even more favorable than usual for landslides. But there are many other ecological threats facing Riverview. And we’re going to hear about those from Robin Eng, the Ecological Project Manager for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. 

Robin was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and has always felt at home in the forests of Western Pennsylvania - including the urban ones. She went to the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied both Ecology & Evolution and Philosophy.  Later, she got a master’s degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. Robin’s work in both forest ecology and wildlife biology makes her particularly good at understanding and explaining the factors that contribute to a healthy ecosystem.

We met up with Robin in Riverview Park to talk more about landslides, the out-of-control deer, crazy jumping worms, vines — all of it. 


EPISODE TWELVE: February 14, 2022


We’re counting down the top five most surprising and interesting things about Pittsburgh's largest regional park. Loved by hikers, bikers, birders, and nature lovers of all ages, Frick Park also home to the Frick Environmental Center. Throughout this episode, you'll also hear Pittsburghers' reflections about the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse.


EPISODE SIX: November 8, 2021

Celebrating August Wilson In a Hill District Park

August Wilson grew up practically next door to the park that now bears his name. And from August Wilson Park, you can experience one of the most spectacular views in the entire city and see art from Alisha Wormsley and Teenie Harris.

This is the first park project to be based on the Greenprint for the Hill District, by Walter Hood Design Studio. The Greenprint's aim is to reconnect Hill District residents to their unique landscape and the neighborhood to the city as a whole. Ultimately, it envisions the Hill as a ‘Village in the Woods’ above the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. The idea was to make the landscape of the Hill work better for the people who live there, in the ways they already use it. And to communicate that the Hill is a good and decent place, with good and decent people. 


EPISODE FIVE: November 1, 2021

George Westinghouse The Man, the Park, and the Pond

October marked George Westinghouse’s 175th birthday and we're heading to Westinghouse Park- the place the famous inventor called home for more than 40 years - to learn all about his legacy *and* the secret tunnel that ran from his house to his laboratory (the are still there!). Westinghouse is a neighborhood park in the truest sense of the word. And now it's also an official arboretum - Pittsburgh's only second (the first is Mellon Park).

And then we head to another Westinghouse landmark in the city, the Westinghouse Memorial in Schenley Park, crowdfunded by 55,000 of his employees after his death and restored in 2016 by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the City of Pittsburgh.


EPISODE FOUR: October 25, 2021

Discovering A Garden of Delights at the Walled Garden in Mellon Park

Mellon Park sits on what was the estate of industrialist Richard Mellon. At the time, he had the biggest house in all of Pittsburgh and employed 7 full-time gardeners.

The Mellon mansion is long gone, but the rambling yard remains. So does a beautiful walled garden that includes a hidden memorial to Annie Seamans, a Pittsburgh native who loved to visit the park. The memorial is an art installation made up of 150 lights embedded in the lawn. At night, they shine in the pattern that matches the night sky that was overhead on the day of Annie's birth in 1979.

In this episode, we hear from Annie's mother, the artist who created the piece, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy gardener who keeps the walled garden looking so beautiful year-round. 


EPISODE THREE: October 18, 2021

A Tree Grows in Pittsburgh Tending the Urban Forests in our City’s Parks

Park trees are vital to Pittsburgh. They offer immense benefits for all — from reducing peak temperatures in the summer, cleaning the air, providing a habitat for native wildlife, and so much.

On average, Pittsburgh loses dozens of trees each day and continues to see acres of tree canopy disappear annually. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 100 mature trees will remove 53 tons of carbon dioxide and 430 pounds of other air pollutants while catching about 139,000 gallons of rainwater every year! Unfortunately, many of our park trees are under attack. Thousands are beset by pests, diseases, and storm damage. Devastating insects like the Spotted Lanternfly and fungal diseases such as oak wilt threaten more than 60% of our native tree population.

In this episode, you'll learn more about Pittsburgh's tree population and the work the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy continues to do to support and protect our urban forest.


EPISODE TWO: October 11, 2021

Loving a Little Chapel Back to Life The Story of Riverview Park’s Chapel Shelter

Riverview Park is one of the smallest of Pittsburgh’s five regional parks, and the least visited. And Northsiders? They kind of like it that way. Created in 1894, there are so many stories we could share about Riverview Park. But on this episode, we’re diving into a great comeback story: the restoration of the Chapel Shelter and the surrounding landscape. Slated for demolition not that long ago, it's now one of the most rented shelters in the park system. 


EPISODE ONE: October 4, 2021


Throughout this past year, we've heard from a lot of Pittsburghers about all the ways they’ve been using the parks and what the parks have meant to them. From July of 2019 to July of 2021 monthly attendance doubled.  Maybe you’ve noticed it yourself -- the parks are well-loved, well used and well cared for. But it wasn't always this way. Twenty-five years ago, a few dedicated park lovers got together and began their journey to improve Pittsburgh's parks with passion, but not much else.

On this episode, learn the origin story of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and how one woman's idea led to a unique public-interest partnership that has changed Pittsburgh in so many positive ways.


LET'S GET SOCIAL! Spread the word about "For the Love of Parks"

Are you enjoying "For the Love of Parks?" Now is the time to spread the word to your family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, or even your fellow park visitors about this original series that celebrates Pittsburgh's parks and green spaces.

Please select the link below to access our media kit, including our press release, an overview of the original series, sample social media posts, and some fun photos from our listening event in August!


If you'd like to speak further with our team regarding this new series, please don't hesitate to contact Alana Wenk, Director of Marketing & Communications, at



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