Alliance Working To Preserve Green Spaces In The Hilltop Neighborhoods
December 21, 2020
The Hilltop Alliance has assisted in the reinvestment and development of multiple green spaces throughout the Hilltop. Alongside the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and communities of Beltzhoover and Bon Air, the Hilltop Alliance completed the McKinley Park and Haberman Avenue Corridor Master Plans in 2015.
The Haberman Avenue Corridor is a combination of streets, sidewalks, city steps, and paths connecting McKinley Park to the Warrington Recreation Center and South Hills Junction. Creating a safe greenway between these spaces resulted in a valuable community resource. HA provided resources in the Corridor include wayfinding signage, city steps stabilization, City capital budget support for new streetlights and ADA ramps, and the removal of overgrowth. Additionally, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy secured funding for improvements in upper McKinley Park.
In 2016, on the site of the former Knoxville Incline, the Hilltop Alliance worked with community member Cara Jette to create the first official greenway in the City of Pittsburgh in 30 years. The project involved identifying 40 City-owned vacant parcels along the Allentown-South Side Slopes border and turning them into trails and steps, to better connect the South Side to the Hilltop.
That same year, Hilltop Alliance staff brought together Hilltop residents to create and convene the Friends of South Side Park. This group of community stakeholders, representing the diverse user groups of South Side Park (in the South Side Slopes), now leads all advocacy, planning and awareness around South Side Park.
With this, 2016 saw the completion of a report on the public use of the park, the debut of new signage, and a new Master Plan for the Park. In 2017, monthly volunteer work days were held, invasive species were removed, and the first annual GoatFest was took place in the park.
Also in 2017, 15 vacant lots in the Hilltop were installed with native wildflowers to serve as pollinator pathways and stormwater retention sites. Community stewards led the planning process for these “Lots of Flowers”, including adding amenities such as benches and signage.
In 2020, in response to Covid-19, HA renovated the Lunchtime Lot (next to Paisano’s Pizzeria in Allentown) to be optimized for outdoor sales and seating for local businesses.