South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret Smyka
Contributing Writer 

Duquesne students planning beautification project for South Side Park


Details of a pending project to clean up South Side Park were presented to attendees of the March 11 meeting of the South Sides Slopes Neighborhood Association by two Duquesne University students.

Community volunteers are sought for beautification and clean-up of the park on April 12 and April 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rain dates are April 13 and 20. Lunch and work materials will be provided. Volunteers should meet at the ice rink.

A tentative walk-through of the park is scheduled for March 27 from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Again, the ice rink will serve as the gathering spot.

Besides South Side residents, about 50 university students from several service organizations at Duquesne University are expected to volunteer at the park on those dates.

Students Allison Pogue and Jamie White said the goal of their Honors program is to reach out to the community and form a partnership to make some element of it a better place. In the process, they will also learn to write a proposal and budget.

South Side Park, they said, seems "under-used with a lot of potential."

The work will be divided into two teams: beautification and trails.

The beautification team will focus on landscaping, litter clean-up, and removal of large items, like refrigerators and vehicles. The Public Works Dept. has offered support with the latter.

The trails team will clear brush, clean up litter on trails, and put diamond markers on the trails. No signage is involved.

The students plan to create a map of the park and put it on line as a .pdf file. While a master plan of the park exists, said the students, it is not detailed.

While the ice rink is included in the 64-acre park, the project does not address the rink.

If you would like to volunteer in advance, or want more information, email the students at, or

In the evening's other presentation, landscape architect Dina Klavon, of Klavon Design Associates, presented streetscape ideas for improving the 18th St. corridor, which is part of the Elm Street initiative.

The state-funded Elm Street project provides funding for public realm improvements in parts of the Slopes and four other neighborhoods.

Ideas presented included lighting schemes, trees, fence and wall improvements, and more.

The goal is for the 18th St. corridor, once the desired "look" is decided upon, to serve as a template for other Slopes improvements so there will be a consistent plan in place.

The next steps are data collection, site inventory, site analysis, research, and a community workshop.

Volunteers are sought for the latter. The workshop involves spending a half day with participants, reviewing the site through photos and maps, presenting findings from introductory meeting, presenting site analysis plan, and soliciting ideas from participants.

Contact the SSSNA at 412-488-0486 if interested in being a volunteer.

The project schedule calls for preliminary recommendations by mid-April; refinement and recommendations by mid-May, to be presented at a community meeting; and the final product by the end of May.

In SSSNA news, President Brad Palmisiano said work on the garden at the 18th St. bend will take place on March 29 from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers should meet at the Veronica's Veil parking lot, 66 Pius St., at 9 a.m. Gloves, garbage bags, etc., will be provided.

Peggy Sullivan was welcomed as the newest board member, filling the seat vacated by Claudia Hart, who is moving out west due to a career change. Dr. Hart was a SSSNA member for eight years.

The SSSNA approved the South Side Neighborhood Plan update. The Chamber of Commerce has yet to issue its decision. If it is positive, the plan can be adopted by the South Side Planning Forum as all other member organizations approved it.

The next SSSNA meeting will on April 1 at 7 p.m. at the St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center.


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