The Richard King Mellon Foundation awarded a $250,000 grant to the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC) in February of 2009 for restoration of the Grand View Scenic Byway Park, Pittsburgh's fifth regional park, and its hillside which overlooks downtown Pittsburgh.
This restoration project began in 2006 with the help of the Richard King Mellon Foundation and has been furthered by several additional foundations, organizations, and the City of Pittsburgh. The MWCDC will continue partnering with the Richard King Mellon Foundation to improve the ecological value of the park and the quality of this regional asset.
The grant will support the continued sustainable development of Mount Washington's slopes. Restoration will help prevent hillside erosion, protect the wildlife habitats, manage the water draining system, and ensure safe air quality. In order to provide the best experience for those visiting or living in Mount Washington, this grant will enable the MWCDC to remove large trees obstructing the view, plant smaller native trees and shrubbery to promote healthy soil and optimal view, and help the City of Pittsburgh maintain the attractiveness of the park.
Ilyssa Manspeizer, MWCDC park resource manager, is excited for the opportunity to restore the Mount Washington hilltop. "This project elegantly resolves the sustainable development conundrum – how do we meet the environment's needs and people's needs at the same time — by clearly satisfying both ecological and economic needs without sacrificing either," Ms. Manspeizer said.
More than one million visitors view downtown Pittsburgh from the Grand View Scenic Byway Park on Mount Washington every year. The restoration plans will improve the overall tourist experience in Pittsburgh in a manner which serves the environment as well as the local community.