Mayor Luke Ravenstahl took the final steps today to create Pittsburgh's newest regional park, the Grand View Scenic Byway Park. The process to develop the park sets the tone for future collaborations between the City and non-profit organizations.
Mayor Ravenstahl, who repelled down the face of Grandview Avenue this spring with the Explorers club to help clean the most visible portion of this new park, realizes its importance to the region.
"We are the black and gold and green city," said Mayor Ravenstahl. "We recognize our natural assets are as important as our great sports teams. We are also aware of having to do more with less, ensuring that we continue our city's fiscal recovery while providing tax payers with truly unique recreational parks to enjoy. We are doing this by building bridges with the non-profit community so that instead of competing for state resources, we are sharing these resources to make the Grand View Scenic Byway Park truly phenomenal."
This new addition will be the first regional park south of the City of Pittsburgh, offering passive as well as active recreational green space to residents, and giving Mt. Washington's 1 million visitors/year another reason to visit the world's greatest view. The new regional park joins Frick, Schenley, Highland and Riverview Park as one of the nation's best park systems.
The City and the non-profit Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC) joined together to co-manage the park, as well as to partner with other non-profit foundations and organizations for funding, expertise and resources.
This parks collaboration agreement offers a wonderful blueprint for future relationships between the City of Pittsburgh and non-profit organizations as a way to do more with less, to share resources, and make the taxpayer dollar go far.
Created in December 2005 by a unanimous vote from City Council, the Grand View Scenic Byway Park skirts the state Scenic Byway roads of East Sycamore, Grandview Avenue and McArdle Roadway, allowing for additional revenue and tourism opportunities to help our city and our region. It joins together almost 280 acres of existing neighborhood parks, parklets and impressive wooded hillsides that encircle Mt. Washington and Duquesne Heights.
In the past year, Mayor Ravenstahl and other city officials have worked with the MWCDC to add 16 additional acres of land to the park, unveil a landmark statue on one of the parklet sites overlooking the Point, and have made improvements to the built environment of the Scenic Byways roads by refurbishing the observation pods. The City, foundations, businesses and private individuals around the Pittsburgh area have contributed over $650,000 to the MWCDC to start developing the parks assets. Initial Park funders include The Heinz Endowments, the R.K. Mellon Foundation, the Laurel Foundation, the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development and the Federal Highways Administration.
The Mount Washington Community Development Corporation has plans to improve the 5th Great Park through replanting efforts and trail building. Currently, they are working on acquiring 36 acres of undeveloped private land on the western side of the park and will continue with ongoing, massive cleanup efforts to eliminate long-standing dump sites to make the park more accessible and visitor friendly.
Monday, April 23, 2007
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687