July 16, 2013 | Vol. 73 No. 51

McKinley Park renovations completed

Upper McKinley Park recently completed a quarter million dollar renovation to the entrance of the park and parking lot serving the McKinley Community Center in Beltzhoover.

State Rep. Jake Wheatley unveils a plaque commemorating renovations to the entrance of McKinley Park in Beltzhoover. Joining him were City of Pittsburgh council members Natalia Rudiak and Bruce Kraus.

At a ceremony unveiling the renovations, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy president and CEO Meg Cheever outlined the work that was performed at the park. Notable features include a new parking lot with a porous surface which will allow rain water to pass through it and be absorbed into the ground; rain gardens which will also receive water from the parking lot; and, accessible walkways leading from the street to the playground and basketball court.

Ms. Cheever also pointed out the 1930s era stone wall entrance which was restored to historic detail.

She said the work at McKinley will help “shine a light” on the potential for making improvements to 50 or 60 more parks in the city.

“Community members working together can make it happen,” she added.

An integral part of the Beltzhoover neighborhood, McKinley Park’s 78.5 acres includes children’s play areas, hiking trails, a skate park, sports courts, a baseball field and a senior center.

The Parks Conservancy and the landscape architecture firm Environmental Planning & Design worked with the community and the City of Pittsburgh to formulate the improvement plans. John Zottola Landscaping constructed the project.

Funding to complete the renovations came in part through a Pennsylvania Redevelopment assistance Capital Program grant facilitated by State Rep. Jake Wheatley and awarded to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Additional funding was provided by the Birmingham Foundation and from City of Pittsburgh Community Development Block Grants through council members Bruce Kraus and Natalia Rudiak.

The City of Pittsburgh also contributed lighting, benches, bollards and bicycle racks. The Department of Public Works also contributed to the project.

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