How We're Funded
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is funded through various sources to support our mission and impact. The Parks Conservancy is powered by philanthropy from the following:
- Donations and Contributions
- Fundraising Events
- Corporate Partnerships
- Investment Income
- Government Funding
- In-Kind Donations
- Matching Gifts
- Legacy Gifts
The Parks Conservancy relies on a mix of these funding sources to ensure financial stability and sustain our operations over the long term.
*The financial figures above are reflective of the 2022 fiscal year.
The Parks Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE PARKS TRUST FUND?
The Parks Trust Fund is a dedicated source of funding for Pittsburgh’s entire park system that city voters approved in November 2019. The purpose of the tax is to improve parks and their safety, equitably funding parks in underserved Pittsburgh neighborhoods, securing matching funds and services from a charitable city parks conservancy, such as the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC), and assuring citizen participation and public disclosure of spending.
HOW MUCH REVENUE HAS BEEN GENERATED THROUGH THE PARKS TAX AND HOW WILL IT BE SPENT?
- The City of Pittsburgh has collected nearly $30 million into the Parks Trust Fund over the past three years. The City manages the collection and distribution of funds generated by the dedicated parks tax. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has no oversight or management of the Parks Trust Fund.
DOES THE PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY RECEIVE AN ALLOCATION FROM THE PARKS TRUST FUND?
- Annually, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is required to submit a request to the City of Pittsburgh in order to receive a portion of the funds generated by the dedicated parks tax. The Parks Conservancy is only able to receive an allocation towards specific projects that are reviewed and approved by the Mayor’s office and City Council. The Parks Conservancy received its first allocation of $800,000 to support the North Promenade restoration project in Allegheny Commons Park in 2023.
- As part of the 2024 City budget process, the PPC requested $1,343,000 to support the following 4 projects, each of which has the written support of the local City Councilmember and community-based organizations and will leverage private investment to maximize impact:
- In alignment with the recommendations outlined in the Mellon Park Action Plan, which was released in 2022 with feedback from more than 1,000 park users and 26 different community organizations representing East Liberty, Larimer, Homewood, Point Breeze, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill, the PPC requested $703,000 to support resurfacing of pathways, installation of new lighting, and enhancements of park entrances to create a safer and more accessible experience for visitors.
- The PPC has requested $330,000 to support the construction of a Community Grove in McKinley Park in Pittsburgh’s south Hilltop neighborhoods. In accordance with the community’s wishes for the park, this gathering space will feature benches and seat walls to allow trail users to rest during hikes, showcase local public art in partnership with local artists, provide dedicated space for youth-serving organizations to host nature-based programs for neighborhood children, and create a destination for community events and celebrations.
- The PPC has requested $200,000 to build an ADA-accessible and sensory-friendly space for children with physical and cognitive disabilities to interact with and learn from nature in Frick Park. Encompassing about 3 acres of woodlands surrounding the Frick Environmental Center, the Outdoor Sensory Classroom and Nature Play Trail, which will become the first of its kind in a public park in Pittsburgh and was designed with input from dozens of organizations serving children with disabilities, will include a fully resurfaced 1/3-mile trail, discovery stations to encourage children to participate in activities that engage the senses, the reconstruction of an observation deck, and covered shelter spaces, all of which will be accessible to individuals with mobility challenges and intellectual disabilities.
- The PPC has requested $110,000 to rehabilitate the 1940s-era Valley Refuge Shelter in Riverview Park on Pittsburgh’s Northside. The restoration of this popular asset, which is deteriorating rapidly, was identified as a top priority of the Friends of Riverview Park organization. The project scope will include the repair of the crumbling and hazardous flagstone floor, repointing of damaged and unsightly masonry, restoration of the bathroom space that is currently closed and not functional, lighting and electrical upgrades, replacement of a drinking fountain, and repair of the aging roof.
WHY SHOULD THE CITY CONSIDER ALLOCATING REVENUE FROM THE PARKS TRUST FUND TO THE PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY?
- The PPC has been a stalwart partner to the City of Pittsburgh for 27 years, raising nearly $145 million for private investment in Pittsburgh’s city parks and annually providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct services for the City at no cost.
- Receiving this allocation would enable the PPC to continue leveraging private philanthropic donations and park-specific expertise for projects in neighborhoods most in need, as the referendum establishing the Parks Tax intended.
- We believe the PPC should receive this allocation to further leverage private philanthropic donations and park-specific expertise, both of which have been proven capabilities of the organization for two and a half decades.
- The PPC's dedicated and highly-trained staff members have a history of working collaboratively with the City to restore Pittsburgh's parks system and provide positive and meaningful park experiences. Our requested allocation of some of the Parks Tax would help ensure efficient, focused attention and expertise where needed.