By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Slopes Assoc. elects board members, gets $45k for S.S. Park


A board election and an update on StepTrek 2013 were the highlights of the Oct. 15 meeting of the South Sides Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA).

In the board elections, members Peter Kreuthmeier, Brian Oswald and Pavel Yakovlev were reelected; newcomers Cara Jette and Dawn Lorincy were also elected to two-year terms.

Stepping down as board members were eight-year member Rev. Donald Ware and four-year member Mark Zalenchak.

The other SSSNA board members are Brad Palmisiano, Maggie Buck, Denise Fillip, Molly McClelland, Sarah Shea and Jamin Bogi.

The vote was unanimous.

Voting members of the SSSNA must be 18 years of age and older, and have attended at least two general meetings a year.

In other news, the SSSNA received a $45,000 grant for South Side Park from the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development. The funding is for trail development, building trails, and coordination of the work.

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation will also work on the project with the SSSNA, which originally sought $75,000 for the grant. Three additional fundraisers raised about $1,400 for a park sign.

Moss Clark said a loop trail was completed this summer that connects the main park sites.

Volunteers from the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University were expected to work in the park, he said, beginning in the upcoming weekend.

A goal is to produce a park map and post it at park entrances. An even bigger goal is to get people in the park and using it, Mr. Clark said.

Jamin Bogi said the city is working on a comprehensive 25-year master plan, which includes the Slopes parks.

He created a summary of the city’s plans for Slopes parks. When available, residents should email him at with comments on any of the parks.

While there is a SSSNA committee for South Side Park, a subcommittee will be formed for the other parks. Anyone interested in serving on the subcommittee should email Mr. Bogi.

In news of the Outreach Committee, Betty Kripp said a survey revealed trash and parking are big issues in the neighborhood.

Regarding trash, the neighborhood was divided into zones last spring, and three educational walkabouts were conducted. Some of the Slopes’ six zones -- as established by the committee -- were assigned captains.

The group met with city Councilman Bruce Kraus, and paid for some advertisements concerning the trash initiative.

Mrs. Kripp said the efforts’ tools include: residents’ calling 311 when neighborhood trash is not put out or stored properly; a “landlord letter” in its early stages; and a newly created map of properties.

The committee is also compiling a list of the top 10 code violators.

Its progress so far has resulted in bag clips and garbage can stickers with the message, “Keep trash out of sight, in cans with lids” purchased with a grant from the Birmingham Foundation.

Mrs. Kripp said the committee wants to share its progress with Flats’ volunteers tackling the same issues, and talk with Wanda Wilson, executive director of the residents-led Oakland Planning and Development Corp., for her input.

The committee also wants to collect success stories for the SSSNA E-blast and the newsletter.

Demonstrating with a garbage can, Mrs. Kripp said the lid should be tight fitting, and no one should be able to see the garbage bag inside.

Trash may be set out after 6 p.m. the night before trash pick-up day.

“This is serious. When you have trash around the neighborhood crime increases as criminals think you don’t care,” she said.

In other news, the annual Day of Giving, conducted by the Pittsburgh Foundation, resulted in $736 for the SSSNA.

In StepTrek news, the 13th annual non-competitive, self-guided walking tour of the Slopes on Oct. 5 drew more than 800 Trekkers, resulting in a profit of $9,000 for the SSSNA. It is the organization’s largest fundraiser.

In announcements, Halloween trick-or-treat will be observed in the city from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.

The SSSNA Christmas party will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at St. Paul’s Monastery.


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