Final draft of park master plan available for review on Thursday
April 17, 2018
Ruth Isaacson a member of the Friends of South Side Park (FSSP) presented the process for developing the plan at the April Arlington Civic Council meeting. The Friends group has members from neighborhoods surrounding and near South Side Park, including South Side and Arlington.
FSSP has been working on improving the park with clean ups and trail work. “Really, just making it your park so you feel comfortable there and you can show up and join us any time,” she said.
The master plan, a joint planning process between the City of Pittsburgh, community groups and Studio Bryan Hanes was about “making it your park,” explained Ms. Isaacson. The master planning process was funded through a $40,000 grant from the state Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) that was matched by the city.
Through three previous community meetings, community members were welcome to provide input into what they would like to see in the park. Currently, the 65-acre park includes ball fields, woods, trails, a community garden and “some really swampy fields.”
So far, there have been three community planning meetings, one each month for the last three months. Ms. Isaacson, an Arlington resident, said the Friends of South Side Park tried to get more Arlington residents out for the planning sessions, but were unable to attract many.
The first session, a three-hour come and go as you like event, sought input from residents on what amenities they would like to see in the park. Examples of what was available in other parks were available to spur discussion.
“We generated a lot of feedback, including with some surveys afterwards,” Ms. Isaacson said.
The second meeting, in February, took the input and presented a draft concept of three potential themes for the park. The themes included: environmental education; arts, culture, and history; and recreation and adventure.
She noted again Arlington “did come out to the meetings, but overall still one of the smaller number of attendees. As a resident here, I think it’s important, we surround so much of the park we want Arlington to be involved.”
Ms. Isaacson also told the group there would be an Earth Day Cleanup on Sunday, April 22 at the Greeley Street entrance to the park. The cleanup will include the trails, mulching and invasive species removal.
Registration and a waiver form are available at: https://bit.ly/2H1e4GX.
On a related subject, the Arlington Spray Park at The Fort is set to be dedicated on May 19, 1 p.m.
The next meeting of the Arlington Civic Council will be on Monday, July 9, 6 p.m. at the Henry Kaufmann Center.