PITTSBURGH - July 12, 2022 – The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy today announced it has completed the first phase of its restoration work at Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park, helping preserve the iconic site’s historical integrity while improving its ecological health.
The popular landmark, located directly across from Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, attracts thousands of visitors annually who enjoy its panoramic views of the Oakland neighborhood and city skyline.
“The Conservancy was honored to help breathe new life into Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park,” said Brandon Riley, Capital Projects Manager, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
The first step of the project involved restoring the historic hand-hewn stone entry steps, retaining walls, and the overlooking terrace. In addition to the masonry restoration, the Parks Conservancy will continue working in the area as they plant and establish two new entry gardens.
“From college students enjoying a break from their classes to park lovers celebrating their engagement to kids enjoying a game of frisbee, Flagstaff Hill is where memories are made every day,” Riley said of the nearly $325,000 park improvement project. “We are confident the park improvement project will make this popular space more enjoyable and allow Pittsburghers to create new memories.”
Future phases of the project will include the reconstruction of the main pathway connecting the east and west entrances of the park. This project will include a reduction in impervious paving and the use of bioswales which will help handle stormwater runoff and mitigate erosion issues that previously plagued the site. In addition, the Conservancy will add new park benches along the connecting pathways, allowing visitors to enjoy a moment of relaxation as they take in the stunning Flagstaff Hill views. The Conservancy will continue to implement an ecological restoration planting program, ensuring the environmental health of one of Schenley Park’s oldest trees stands for generations to come.
“Spaces for outdoor recreation are so important for the health and wellness of our communities,” said Catherine Qureshi, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. “Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park has always been one of the premier sites in Pittsburgh, and these improvements will benefit parkgoers and community members alike.”
Additionally, Schenley Park will soon welcome thousands of enthusiastic Pittsburghers in the coming days at the annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. The signature event will take place on July 23 and 24, allowing spectators to browse the 3,000-vehicle car show and watch the vintage racing from the Bob O’Conner Golf Course at Schenley Park, located near the newly restored Flagstaff Hill site.
Special thanks to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, along with several other major financial supporters for making the first phase of this restoration project possible.
To learn more about the Flagstaff Hill restoration project, visit pittsburghparks.org/flagstaff-hill-woodland-garden.
Contact: Alana Wenk
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
About Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy: Recently 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.