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Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Newsletter

ast month I was privileged to be part of a large group of Pittsburghers who went to New York City to enjoy Christo and Jeanne Claude’s The Gates in Central Park. This installation, which has been 25 years in the making, created a spirit of joy throughout the park and let people view the park from a new perspective. I was overcome with appreciation for the Central Park Conservancy’s 25year-old public-private partnership with the City of New York, which has resulted in a completely restored Central Park. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, a conference called People, Power and Public Green Spaces: Building the Advocacy Movement was held. More than 200 people were in attendance, including Alice Enz, one of our valued PPC staff PPC President Meg Cheever and board members. Almost everyone there was vice-chair Richard Reed participated in a involved in a successful public-private tour of the Gates in Central Park. partnership for parks across the east coast. “The time is here,” said Charles Jordan, one of the country’s leading advocates for urban parks. “I can feel the momentum building in this room. You are proof that 2005 is the year for the movement to reclaim and rebuild our public green space.” As we work to restore our four great parks in Pittsburgh, take a moment to consider that we are part of a larger national movement. As president of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, I want to thank you all for your help in restoring our parks and am asking that you continue to work with us to keep up the


momentum. Volunteer in the parks, call your public officials and tell them parks are important to you. Come to a special event that supports the Parks Conservancy. Or simply become a contributor. Your efforts are part of a movement that is sweeping the nation. Join us and advocate for your parks! As some of you may know, we went through a difficult period this past summer when we discovered that our Chief Operating and Financial Officer was embezzling money from the organization. When confronted, he confessed and was immediately fired. Federal authorities have pursued the matter. The most difficult challenge was the enormous betrayal of trust we suffered, but we were bolstered by the support and assistance offered by many of our friends. We are very grateful. On a positive note we have hired a wonderful new Chief Financial Officer, Debbie Beck, who is both a CPA and a lawyer (see story p. 3). We have also completely overhauled the financial and business systems of the PPC because we are committed to seeing that nothing like this can ever happen again. On another positive note, we have looked at our finances and operations very thoroughly and can report that we’re fiscally sound. Money is always needed due to the enormous needs for restoration in the parks, but we have no debt, are slowly building an endowment, and undertake projects only when the funding has been raised. I hope you can see evidence of this support while out in the parks – walking along a restored Phipps Run in Schenley or Snyder’s Point in Riverview. We are looking forward to completion of the Highland Park Entry Garden this spring with its newly restored reflecting pool, fountain and flowers. Almost 40,000 bulbs were planted there last fall and are ready to burst into bloom when the weather breaks. We’ve also enjoyed working with the City, the community and architects to plan for a new Frick Environmental Center. Central Park in its proudly restored state has once again become the common ground for all New Yorkers. As we keep on working to execute the Master Plan for Pittsburgh’s Regional Parks, Central Park serves as a beacon of inspiration.

Letters To The Editor

We want your feedback. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy welcomes letters to the editor. Letters may be edited. All submissions become the property of the PPC. Please send them to: The Voice, 2000 Technology Drive, Suite 300, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

Hollow Improvements Hold Up

I visited Schenley Park early on September to see what the record rain had wrought and was very impressed by the way the improvements in the hollow have prevented damage. Paula Hall Squirrel Hill

Kudos for Highland Park Restoration

To say that your group has done an excellent job with the restoration of the fountain would be an understatement. It looks fabulous! You must be quite proud. I spend so much time in the park and believe I’ve covered every inch of it on my daily walks. It sounds as though you have great things in the works and I’m grateful that it is receiving the attention it has so long deserved. Elizabeth Sisney Highland Park

Seattle Resident Remembers Parks

I grew up in the suburbs of Forest Hills and Churchill. My parents were both raised in Oakland and Squirrel Hill and so had a deep love for the city’s parks, especially Panther Hollow. They took me and my two sisters there countless times, to explore, hunt for buckeyes, search for the perfect leaf. While I have not lived in Pittsburgh for nearly 30 years, Panther Hollow still holds a special place in my heart. I visit it every time I come to town, and on my most recent sojourn to Pittsburgh, I spent a few hours pulling bottles, clothing and other trash out of the stream and surrounding woods. It looked better than in recent years–the stream-bed rebuilding looked great. I eagerly look forward to wearing your T-shirt with pride and using it as a lure to tell folks in Seattle how special the Pittsburgh parks are. Mike Buchman Seattle,WA

A dog-walker enters Frick Park with his dog on a leash.

Dog-Leash Policy: Pros and Cons

As a resident of the city and an avid runner, I enjoy the parks and commend you on the wonderful job you have done to renew our resources. I would like to suggest something that may make the parks a friendlier place for everybody to enjoy. I run in the parks often and am concerned with the number of unleashed dogs on trails. This past Saturday, I was chased by a dog while running past the playground at the intersection at Bartlett and Hobart streets. The dog chased me down the trail and cut me off, snapping at my hand. Although I love dogs, this was entirely unexpected. It was a very disconcerting experience, and now I am leery of other unleashed dogs on the trail. This is not only in Schenley Park. I and several other runners avoid Frick Park because there are so many dogs off leash on the trails. I am not advocating dog-free parks. I support people visiting the parks with their dogs. Many dog owners who visit the parks are responsible.However, I think that many other people who use the parks will agree that unknown dogs that are off leash on the trails can be intimidating. Melissa Chan Squirrel Hill I love Pittsburgh parks but I dislike the dog-control policies. Why should a few with dog phobias spoil the pleasure of the rest of us who enjoy seeing dogs running and having fun? Roberta Klatzky

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Newsletter

Highland Park Entry Garden on Track for Completion

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his spring, visitors to the Highland Park Entry Garden will enjoy a fountain, tens of thousands of flowers, benches, historic light fixtures and graded walkways for the first time in decades. This fourth showcase project of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the City of Pittsburgh was funded by the Eden Hall Foundation, the Allegheny Regional Asset District, the Highland Park Community Development Corporation and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The centerpiece of the project is the restored historic fountain. It has been more than 75 years since water has filled its basin. The major construction for the project, which included rebuilding the fountain and surrounding deck and constructing the trails, was completed last fall by the City of Pittsburgh. The fountain is slated to be turned on for the season in the beginning of May. The old records of the historical plantings were explored in the design process. “The goal of the design was to capture a sense of the historical design while also reflecting the contemporary use of the area,” says Phil


Gruszka, director of park management and maintenance at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. “With that in mind, the final design layout focused on the colors, texture and height of the flowers to create a powerful visual effect.” More than 40,000 bulbs were planted this winter by the PPC’s subcontractor, the Rosedale Block Cluster, a nonprofit community organization based in Homewood. The organization includes a landscaping business that works throughout the city. “This was a very important project for us,” said Dianne Swan, executive director of the Rosedale Block Cluster. “It presented a unique opportunity for a group that would usually be overlooked in the bidding process to contribute to the enhancement and development of a park that we have all grown up using.” Plantings include crocus, snowdrop, hyacinth, tulips and peonies. To ensure the sustainability of the gardens a custom soil was used in the project. The final pieces of the project will soon come together with the plantings of Grace Hybrid

Stream Restoration Slowed, Not Stopped by Budget Cuts

Construction restarts in Nine Mile Run after federal funds cut By Amy Ripley

ith a new stream channel dug out of the earth and topsoil removed to repel invasive plants, the Nine Mile Run stream valley in Frick Park does not look like a project designed to nurture an endangered ecosystem. “This is the dark before the dawn,” said Marijke Hecht, executive director of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association. “The project is a construction site. But we don’t want people to be alarmed because this is a tremendous project and it will improve the landscape dramatically.” Nine Mile Run – a 6.5-squaremile watershed running through Frick Park to the Monongahela River – is undergoing a multimillion dollar restoration by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Storm water management is one of the cornerstones of the project because the watershed is overwhelmed by erosion and sewage from the East End during wet weather. Last July the 2004 federal funding for the Nine Mile Run watershed stream restoration was slashed by


$1.6 million, forcing the contractor to pull out of the project. But there was time to seed native grasses, which were successful in preventing serious soil erosion, despite two major rainstorms brought on by hurricanes Frances and Ivan. The Nine Mile Run Watershed Association has secured interim funding and will soon complete the unfinished phase of the project stretching from Braddock Avenue to Commercial Avenue. Hecht credited U.S. Representative Mike Doyle and his staff for working to restore funding for the $7.7 million project. Hecht said the City had a firm commitment from the government and hoped that no more unforeseen cuts would interrupt construction. The next phase of the project will restore the watershed from Commercial Avenue south to the Monongahela. Upon its completion, the restoration will redirect the flow of Nine Mile Run and its two tributaries, add 100 acres to Frick Park and replenish the nearly lifeless stream.

Alice Enz

By Alice Enz

Highland Park fountain during a test run last fall. Look for the fountain to be running this spring.

Holly trees and the completion of the historic light fixtures. For more information on the project call the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy at 412-682-7275.

New Chief Financial Officer Joins Parks Conservancy Team By Alice Enz

he Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has welcomed a new member to the staff. Debborah E. Beck, a CPA and lawyer, comes to the PPC with experience from her own national consulting business and as a financial controller and consultant at American Eagle Outfitters. Her past work Chief Financial Officer Deborrah E. Beck includes roles as vice president of financial operations at Highmark, senior finance executive at Duquesne Light Company and certified public accountant with Coopers Lybrand. “I was delighted to accept the Chief Financial Officer’s position at the PPC because the organization allows me to pursue both my personal and professional interests. Historical research, restoration, horticulture, gardening, accounting and finance were too good a combination to pass up,” said Beck. The standards of excellence of the PPC drew Beck to the organization. “The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy personifies excellence in its capital projects and ecological restorations. Every visit to the Frick Gatehouse, Schenley Park Visitor Center, Highland Park Entry Fountain or the Phipps Run walking trail takes my breath away. Because Meg Cheever was committed to establishing and maintaining a system of internal controls consistent with the best practices applied every day in accomplishing the PPC’s mission, I was doubly attracted to the opportunity.” With the collaboration of the PPC staff and board of directors, the PPC has tightened control procedures and engaged independent auditors to review, test and report on the revised internal policies and procedures. “My experience here has been a rewarding one,” said Beck. “There is an incredible generosity of spirit and dedication within the organization, its partners and supporters.”


Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Newsletter

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Interview with Deputy Director Mike Gable

Newly Promoted Deputy Director Talks About his Priorities for Parks Q: What new responsibilities do you have as Deputy Director of the Department of Public Works? A: Besides park maintenance and administration, I will now be involved with the oversight of the Bureau of Engineering and Construction, which includes park construction and architecture projects. It is just another piece of the puzzle to putting the park structure back together. Q: How many acres of land are you responsible for and what parks does that include? A: We have about 2,800 acres of parkland. That’s 175 parks throughout the city, ranging from the four largest Regional Asset District parks to the parklets, tot lots and the small passive triangles. Q: What are the biggest challenges in maintaining the four regional parks? A: Litter, graffiti, turf damage and the people who have a disregard or disrespect for the parks. Deputy Director Mike Gable

Q: A few years ago the decision was made to have dedicated park crews. How has that change affected your work and the overall health of the parks? How has the community responded? A: The change has been positive. It’s something that was needed for years. The staff and crews enjoy working in the parks and I think it’s reflected in how the parks look today. The community has responded and has been pleasantly surprised that workers are in the parks on a daily basis. But there is still a lot of work to do. Q: Imagine 20 years from now. What will the parks look like? A: They’re done, the master plan has been fulfilled, the walls are rebuilt, the trails are restored, the buildings are renovated, everything’s rehabbed and I get to retire. Then, to some degree, we get to start all over again. The parks require constant attention and maintenance. Of course, none of that would be possible without the funding and resources provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (ARAD) and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, which plays an important role in the restoration of the parks.

Contact Your Park Foreman: Frick Park: Dick Wilford – 412-422-6550 Highland Park: Damon Blankenship – 412-665-3632 Riverview Park: Bob Lacki – 412-323-7209 Schenley Park: Tim Cain – 412-622-6904 Website:

Q: If someone has a concern about the park what should they do? A: They can call any of our park foremen, their contact information is on the City of Pittsburgh website (see box to right). We welcome any residents to talk with our foremen and staff and express their comments and concerns. Q: How does DPW work with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in Highland, Frick, Schenley and Riverview parks? What affect has the public-private partnership had on our regional parks over the last eight years? A: In the four regional parks we’ve been working hand-in-hand with the PPC on capital projects, the Gatehouse at Frick, the Schenley Park Visitor Center, the Babbling Brook and this year, the completion of the Highland Park Entry Garden. We have worked together to cover capital costs and maintenance services. While the City’s crews are in the parks, the PPC has helped with ongoing volunteer efforts that supplement the crews. In addition, they have been able to send our crews to undergo training they might not have been able to get otherwise. The driving force behind this relationship is the Regional Parks Master Plan, which speaks to a collaborative effort. In the initial phase everyone was apprehensive but we’ve learned over the years to trust one another and we’ve done great things together and will continue to do so in the future. I think it’s been a successful collaboration. Q: There is a lot of discussion about consolidating the city and county parks. What are your views on this? A: I think it’s something that will ultimately happen. I don’t know if it is in the very near future or 10 years down the road. People are looking for a combination of government services. It will be good for the parks if everyone looks beyond the surface. There are a lot of details that go into the mix to make it successful. Nobody has excess resources. However, we have been working together for years, sharing equipment and ideas and communicating with one another. Q: What is your favorite spot in the parks? A: Anywhere I can go to get away from the traffic and the hustle and bustle. It’s great to be in one of the four regional parks and not hear all of the noise. I grew up playing and working in Highland Park and so I’m excited to see the entry garden and fountain nearing completion.

Save the Date Madcap Masquerade

Saturday, October 29


This fall the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is staging a zany Halloween bash. The Madcap Masquerade, a costume or black tie event, is full of whimsical details and bewitching backdrops. It will feature culinary presentations of the strolling variety, entertainment troupes and the camaraderie of PPC supporters. For more information, contact the PPC at 412-682-7275.

Restoring Riverview Park’s Landscape By Phil Gruszka

he City of Pittsburgh, Department of Public Works, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy are working together to restore the landscape around the Chapel Shelter in Riverview Park. The project will improve the overall ecology of the park and restore a cultural landscape reminiscent of the design that historically surrounded the Chapel Shelter. Currently the site is filled with non-native tree species such as the Siberian elm and Norway maple. These trees are environmentally invasive and out-compete native plants, resulting in the destruction of native habitat and a decrease in the biodiversity of our parks. This project will restore the landscaped portion of the Chapel Shelter site with native tree species


that are already present, such as Linden, Sugar maple and Beech trees. The restoration will extend to adjacent areas of the park where native trees, shrubs and flowers will be planted. In addition, the historic Lilac population will be preserved and enhanced as part of this initial phase of work. Currently, pink ribbons are attached to the native trees and shrubs that will remain on the site. A tree removal contractor will remove any tree or shrub without a pink ribbon in late February and March. Restoration plantings will begin during the spring and fall of 2005. If you have any questions please call Philip Gruszka at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy at 412-682-7275 x219.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Newsletter

Urban EcoSteward Program Gains Momentum

New Hybrid SUV to Benefit Local Parks

By Alice Enz

By Abbie Pauley

Alice Enz


he Urban EcoSteward program, organized through a partnership between the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the Frick Environmental Center and the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, is gaining support across the city. The program encourages interested citizens to help manage and restore urban green spaces. One of the main goals is to create an informed group of citizen advocates for park issues. “The program has a great potential to reach a large number of people who might not be your usual park users and engage them in stewardship of the parks and Pittsburgh’s green space,” says Patty Himes, Frick Environmental Center Staff and EcoSteward coordinator for Frick Park. Individuals or groups of volunteers monitor about one-quarter acre of park land by removing invasive plants to make room for native plants, improving the biodiversity of the site. In addition to this physical work, EcoStewards collect environmental data about their site and record the presence of invasive plants by describing their density and location within the site. After several years this research will provide an overall picture of the long-term health of the site. “The data allows us to create a database to use in urban green space management,” says Christopher Tracey, a consulting ecologist working with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to further develop the program. “Over time, this information can tell us which invasive species are spreading and which of our management techniques are working to control these invasives.” In addition to helping inform the PPC and the City’s Department of Public Works park crew’s efforts, the Urban EcoStewards program could eventually develop a regional invasives species management plan. Recently, Urban EcoSteward volunteers met to discuss the effect of their individual efforts on the biodiversity of the 1,700 acres of park land. “Every site with a steward is either central or bordering a project area for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy,” explained Mary Beth Steisslinger, PPC restoration coordinator. “By focusing on these areas the EcoStewards can have a dramatic impact on maintaining native plantings and keeping out invasive plant populations.” Currently there are 35 EcoStewards working in the four regional parks on about 30 acres of land. “We’re not alone as individual EcoStewards, we’re all part of a bigger program,” said Patty Himes. “It’s easy to forget that when you’re out on your own in the park.” If you are interested in becoming an Urban EcoSteward contact the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy at 412-682-7275 or email


Phil Gruszka, director of park management and maintenance, stands next to the new vehicle.

estoring the parks has never been better for the environment. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has teamed up with Shults Ford of Wexford to bring energy efficient vehicles to the cause of park restoration. With a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the PPC purchased one of the first Ford Escape Hybrid SUVs released in the Pittsburgh market. The PPC travels about 60,000 miles a year throughout the city of Pittsburgh to reach the four parks. The use of a hybrid vehicle will save fuel and reduce emissions – a more appropriate choice for the organization whose mission calls for con-

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ducting restoration projects with respect for environmental sensitivity. The Ford, which hit the road in February, bears the logos of the Conservancy and of DCED. “Using fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles in the parks demonstrates that the PPC is dedicated to environmental stewardship in everything we do,” said Conservancy President Meg Cheever. The director of parks management and maintenance and his staff will use the vehicle for travel throughout the park system and to transport tools and plants used for volunteer days. Special thanks to Mike Solito, the local vehicle broker of Auto Buyer’s Consultants, Inc who assisted the PPC.

Mary Schenley Descendant Visits Pittsburgh By Alice Enz

he local legend of how Schenley Park was born came to life this summer when the great-great grandson of Mary Schenley, Robert Harbord, traveled from his home in England to visit the City of Pittsburgh. Harbord wanted to see for himself the impact that his family’s generosity had on the city. “I knew very little about her, other than she had a park named after her here in the states,” said Harbord fondly recalling a faded picture of his great-great grandmother that used to sit on the mantle. “It has been an incredible experience to see and experience the park that has been a foggy image in my head for so long. And now I know that there are good people here in Pittsburgh taking care of my great-great grandmother’s Mayor Tom Murphy and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy President Meg Cheever talk with Mary Schenley’s great-great grandson, Robert Harbord. gift.” According to legend, more than 100 years ago the first Director of the Department of Public Works, Edward Bigelow, learned that a developer was headed to England to purchase land from the wealthy Pittsburgh heiress. Upon hearing the news, he sent a lawyer on a midnight train from East Liberty to cross the ocean and claim the land for a greatly needed public space for the city. Bigelow’s lawyer managed to beat the developer by two days and by the time the developer reached London, Pittsburgh had its first great park, Schenley Park, courtesy of Mary Schenley. “It was a pleasure to be able to tour the park with Mr. Harbord and see it through the eyes of a first-time visitor,” said Meg Cheever, president of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. “We had an opportunity to show him some of our recently completed projects such as the Schenley Park Visitor Center, the trail work in Phipps Run and the plans for Schenley Plaza.” Harbord received a behind-the-scenes guided tour on the restoration projects from active park user Mayor Tom Murphy and Director of Public Works Guy Costa.


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Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Newsletter





Start Time

Hosted By**

April 30 May 1 May 3 May 4 May 8 May 10 May 11 May 14 May 15 May 15 May 17 May 18 May 18 May 19 May 24 May 25 May 31

Spring Wildflower Walk* Wild Edible Walk Tyke Hike Weekly Walk in the Woods* Historic Walk in Schenley* Tyke Hike Weekly Walk in the Woods* Nine Mile Run Stream Hike* Community Sea Kyaking Historic Walk in Schenley* Tyke Hike Weekly Walk in the Woods* Yoga Outdoors Mountain Bike Clinic Tyke Hike Weekly Walk in the Woods* Tyke Hike

Frick Park, Falls Ravine Shelter Frick Environmental Center Schenley Park Visitor Center Schenley Park Visitor Center Schenley Park Visitor Center Schenley Park Visitor Center Riverview Park main entrance NMRWA office parking lot Panther Hollow Lake Schenley Park Visitor Center Schenley Park Visitor Center Highland Park Main Entrance Schenley Park Visitor Center Frick Park tennis courts Schenley Park Visitor Center Frick Environmental Center Schenley Park Visitor Center

1 p.m. 1 p.m. 10 a.m. 6:30 p.m. 1 p.m. 10 a.m. 6:30 p.m. 1 p.m. 10 a.m. 1 p.m. 10 a.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 10 a.m. 6:30 p.m. 10 a.m.

NMRWA FEC Venture Outdoors PPC PPC Venture Outdoors PPC NMRWA Venture Outdoors PPC Venture Oudoors PPC Venture Outdoors Venture Outdoors Venture Outdoors PPC Venture Outdoors

June 3 June 5 June 7 June 8 June 10 June 14 June 15 June 15 June 19 June 21 June 22

Gourmet Hike at Frick Historic Walk in Schenley* Tyke Hike Weekly Walk in the Woods* Beer Tasting Hike Tyke Hike Weekly Walk in the Woods* Yoga Outdoors Historic Walk in Schenley* Tyke Hike Weekly Walk in the Woods*

Frick Park Schenley Park Visitor Center Schenley Park Visitor Center Riverview Park main entrance Schenley Park Schenley Park Visitor Center Highland Park main entrance Schenley Park Visitor Center Schenley Park Visitor Center Schenley Park Visitor Center Frick Environmental Center

5 p.m. 1 p.m. 10 a.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 10 a.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 1 p.m. 10 a.m. 6:30 p.m.

Venture Outdoors PPC Venture Outdoors PPC Venture Outdoors Venture Outdoors PPC Venture Outdoors PPC Venture Outdoors PPC

* Event is free of charge. **Schedule is subject to change. Contact host organization for more information. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC): or call 412-682-7275 Venture Outdoors: or call 412-255-0564 Nine Mile Run Watershed Association (NMRWA) or call 412-371-8779 Frick Environmental Center (FEC): 412-422-6538

Work in the Park this Summer – Student Conservation Association Crew Leaders Wanted! Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Debbie Beck Chief Financial Officer Abbie Pauley Director of Institutional Advancement Philip J. Gruszka Director of Park Management and Maintenance Policies

Alice Enz Public Education and Programs Assistant Mary Beth Steisslinger Restoration Coordinator Amy Ripley Projects Coordinator Brandi Fergelec Schenley Park Visitor Center Liz Style Docent Coordinator

Bonita Kwolek Membership/Volunteer Coordinator

Beth Bodamer Administrative Assistant

Jessica Todarello Communications Assistant

Gudrun Wells Volunteer

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy 2000 Technology Drive, Suite 300 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-682-PARK (7275)

Courtesy the SCA

Meg Cheever President and CEO

SCA is the national leader in resource conservation, providing service opportunities, outdoor skills and leadership training to thousands of young women and men each year. For the summer of 2005, SCA is offering qualified applicants the chance to lead conservation crews in the Pittsburgh region. Crews will consist of six to nine 15- to 19-year-old urban high school students. Crew leaders supervise, motivate and lead a crew to complete an assortment of conservation, restoration and maintenance projects for the parks in the Pittsburgh region as well as recreational and outdoor activities. A mandatory staff training will be held in May. The training will be about a week long and cover the skills required to be a successful crew leader. Work with the students will begin in late June and run through August.

Student Conservation Association crews working in the parks.

Send resume and cover letter by fax or email or call for more details. 412-325-1851 phone 412-325-1856 fax

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Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Newsletter

Teaching Workshop Gets Teachers Out into the City’s Parks


Make a Name For Yourself

Gudrun Wells

maintenance in partnership with the Department of Public Works, with regular litter pick up, security and programming. “The completed plaza will have more than 100 parking spaces around the perimeter of the plaza,” said Cheever. “The peripheral parking spaces will accommodate park users, students, commuters, Oakland residents and visitors.” The Plaza is a partnership between the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the City of Pittsburgh, the Oakland Investment Committee of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Oakland Task Force. Significant support has also been provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Honorable Ed Rendell, Governor, PNC Bank, the Eden Hall Foundation, the Hillman Foundation, Allegheny County, Dan Onorato, Chief Executive, and the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Teachers identify tree leaves during the 2004 Teaching Workshop.

Support Schenley Plaza at the $100 and above level and have your name tastefully displayed in the Plaza on a chair or brick paver. For more information call 412-682-7275

Volunteer Days in the Parks

ducators are invited to sign up for the Pittsburgh Environmental Teaching Workshop from July 11 – 15th. During the week-long course, teachers gain expertise on urban environmental issues through field activities and classroom exercises on built environments, geology, resource conservation, watersheds and biodiversity. The workshop is designed for upper-elementary and middleschool teachers but is open to all educators as materials can be adapted for different skill levels. The Pittsburgh Environmental Teaching Workshop is run by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Frick Environmental Center, Conservation Consultants, Inc., Earthforce, SALVO and the Pennsylvania Resource Council. To sign up for this summer’s workshop, contact the PPC at 412-682-7275.


Volunteer in the park this spring. For more information call Bonny Kwolek, volunteer coordinator, at 412-682-7275 x210 or check the events section of our website at

Join Us! If you love our parks, become a member.

Friday, March 18 and Saturday April 9 Volunteer in Schenley Park with the Collegiate Park Stewards and work on restoration projects, including invasive species removal and trail maintenance.

Yes! Sign me up as a contributer to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. I look forward to receiving your newsletter and adding my voice to the chorus of Pittsburghers championing their parks!

Check One: o Benefactor Society $500

o o o o

Saturday, April 2 Head to Frick Park to work at this Meadow Stewardship Day with the Frick Environmental Center staff. Call 412-422-6538 for more information.

Mary Schenley Circle $250 Park Steward $150 Park Friend $25 Business Membership $250


Saturday, April 23 Join with fellow Pittsburghers for the Great PA Cleanup and help restore Schenley Park in honor of Earth Day.

Saturday, June 11 Learn more about invasive plants and how to become an Urban EcoSteward during the Non-native Invasive Plant Training in Frick Park.




Make Check Payable to: Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy 2000 Technology Drive, Suite 300 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is a Pennsylvania non profit corporation. We will provide a disclosure statement and substantiation of donation form for your donation. A copy of the official registration and

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Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Newsletter

Non-Profit Org. U S POSTAGE


Local Authors Featured in Spring Lecture Series

Courtesy The Local History Company

Series returns to the Schenley Park

Author Bob Regan (right) and photographer Tim Fabian (left) will talk about The Steps of Pittsburgh, with walking tour to follow.

wo local authors will reveal engaging historical anecdotes and little-known Pittsburgh facts in this spring’s installment of the free lecture series, Schenley Park Lunchtime Series: Lectures with a View. Both authors will sign copies of their books, which will be on sale at the Visitor Center. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Venture Outdoors hold the lecture series twice a year. Lectures last about 30 minutes and start at noon on the following Thursdays at the Visitor Center: March 17 – Millhunks and Renegades: A Portrait of a Pittsburgh Neighborhood. Anita Kulina, author of Millhunks and Renegades, will take listeners on a tour of Greenfield through the eyes of the generations of Irish, Italian and Slovak immigrants who built this neighborhood bordering Schenley Park. Her stories may forever change the way you look at places and things you see every day.


March 24 – How Walking Helps You Cope with Stress. Bruce Rabin, M.D., Ph.D., medical director, UPMC Healthy Lifestyle Program, discusses how walking is a scientifically proven (and enjoyable) way to deal with the stressors in our lives. March 31 – Gardening for a Sense of Place. Thelma Redick, education and outreach program manager of the Wildlife Habitat Council, will share ways to use native plants to decorate garden landscape, attract wildlife and celebrate the natural and human history of our environment. April 7 – Seeing Green: The Vision for the Frick Environmental Center. Jim Taylor, AIA, LEED Accredited Professional, Project Manager and Designer from IKM Incorporated, will discuss the rebuilding of the Frick Environmental Center. As part of this visual presentation, attendees will be able to offer their perspectives on the proposed designs. April 14 – The Steps of Pittsburgh: Portrait of a City author Bob Regan and photographer Tim Fabian take attendees on the journey of climbing and compiling the book, The Steps of Pittsburgh. Join them for a walking tour of the nearby staircases in Oakland after the lecture.

Are you interested in park history? Want to know more about ecology and biodiversity in the parks?

Volunteer to be a Docent ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER, FROM PAGE 1 centers in Ohio to gather ideas on programming, fundraising and building construction. Last November, more than 40 environmental educators from all over the city, including representatives of the Rachel Carson Homestead, the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and others convened at Schenley Park skating rink to brainstorm on the center’s educational focus. Brian Corr, a science resource teacher from Pittsburgh Public Schools, said he hoped the environmental center and the schools could work closely together. “I think it’s very important that each of the kids gets an opportunity to go to the center,” he said. “But is there an opportunity for the environmental center and the schools to not just have one meeting but to be constantly in touch with each other?” Abbie Pauley, director of institutional advancement for the Parks Conservancy, echoed the voices of many, saying she hoped the center would serve as a gateway into the park. “I would like to see it be an environmental education hub for the community where people can use it from all over the city,” she said. “They can learn about sustainable buildings, park landscapes, ecological restoration, erosion control, watersheds and wetlands. By having a more appealing building we’ll be able to get this message out that the parks are a tremendous educational resource.” If you are interested in becoming a part of this public process, there will be public meetings this spring. The first is scheduled for Thursday, March 31st and will be held at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink. For more information contact Maureen Hogan at 412-977-8468 or

Schematic Design Options Environmental Center Discussion Thursday, March 31st 7– 9 p.m. Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink, Overlook Drive

Lead park tours through Frick, Highland, Riverview and Schenley parks. Contact Bonny Kwolek at 412-682-7275 for more information.


Remember Pittsburgh’s Historic Parks in your Will or Trust

Through planned giving, you can ensure that your support of our parks is carried on for the next generation. Your generosity will help us continue our mission to preserve, protect and restore the great parks of Pittsburgh. To learn more, contact the PPC at 412.682.PARK

Spring 2005 - The Voice  

Spring 2005 issue of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy newsletter, The Voice.

Spring 2005 - The Voice  

Spring 2005 issue of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy newsletter, The Voice.