The National Recreation and Park Association and the American Planning Association awarded 5 Great Urban Parks Grants on August 8, including one to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy for McKinley Park.
The grants support the development of green infrastructure in urban parks to help reduce flooding, improve water quality, improve wildlife habitat and increase biodiversity while providing access to nature and outdoor recreation in underserved communities.
McKinley Park is a 78.5 acre community park in Beltzhoover; a neighborhood with 1,925 residents located about 1.7 miles from downtown Pittsburgh in an area known as the Hilltop.
The park's steep topography, lack of accessible paths, poorly defined entrances, and deferred maintenance issues discourage neighborhood access, limiting use of the park and its recreational facilities.
Despite continual efforts to manage stormwater in the higher northern portions of the park, runoff negatively impacts community use and the park's ecology.
The proposed project will demonstrate how holistic green infrastructure investment is a vehicle for community revitalization, enabling residents of Pittsburgh's Hilltop neighborhoods to become more active and frequent park users, supporting community development goals, improving access to the restorative benefits of park use, promoting the park as a community asset, and reducing flooding and other negative impacts from deteriorating infrastructure.
Further, this work will positively contribute to improving water quality and the health of the impaired Saw Mill Run Watershed.
Click Here for more on the Great Urban Parks Grant awardees.
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