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For the Love of Parks
29 minutes | Oct 25, 2021
Discovering a Garden of Delights at the Walled Garden in Mellon Park
Mellon Park sits on what was the estate of industrialist Richard Mellon. At the time, he had the biggest house in all of Pittsburgh and employed 7 full-time gardeners. The Mellon mansion is long gone, but the rambling yard remains. So does a beautiful walled garden that includes a hidden memorial to Annie Seamans, a Pittsburgh native who loved to visit the park. The memorial is an art installation made up of 150 lights embedded in the lawn. At night, they shine in the pattern that matches the night sky that was overhead on the day of Annie's birth in 1979. In this episode, we hear from Annie's mother, the artist who created the piece, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy gardener who keeps the walled garden looking so beautiful year-round. Learn more about the Friends of Mellon Park. Learn more about the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. See a photo from Katherine Gaines' memorable rainy wedding in the Walled Garden.
33 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
A Tree Grows in Pittsburgh
Park trees are vital to Pittsburgh. They offer immense benefits for all — from reducing peak temperatures in the summer, cleaning the air, providing a habitat for native wildlife, and so much. On average, Pittsburgh loses dozens of trees each day and continues to see acres of tree canopy disappear annually. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 100 mature trees will remove 53 tons of carbon dioxide and 430 pounds of other air pollutants while catching about 139,000 gallons of rainwater every year! Unfortunately, many of our park trees are under attack. Thousands are beset by pests, diseases, and storm damage. Devastating insects like the Spotted Lanternfly and fungal diseases such as oak wilt threaten more than 60% of our native tree population. In this episode, you'll learn more about Pittsburgh's tree population and the work the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy continues to do to support and protect our urban forest.
24 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
Loving Riverview Park's Little Chapel Back to Life
Riverview Park is one of the smallest of Pittsburgh’s five regional parks, and the least visited. And Northsiders? They kind of like it that way. Created in 1894, there are so many stories we could share about Riverview Park. But on this episode, we’re diving into a great comeback story: the restoration of the Chapel Shelter and the surrounding landscape. Slated for demolition not that long ago, it's now one of the most rented shelters in the park system.
44 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
Imagine There’s No Parks Conservancy: It Isn’t Hard to Do.
Over this past year, we've heard from a lot of Pittsburghers about all the ways they’ve been using the parks and what the parks have meant to them. From July 2019 to July 2021, monthly attendance doubled. Maybe you’ve noticed it yourself -- the parks are well-loved, well used, and well cared for. But it wasn't always this way. Twenty-five years ago, a few dedicated park lovers got together and began their journey to improve Pittsburgh's parks with passion, but not much else. On this episode, learn the origin story of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and how one woman's idea led to a unique public-interest partnership that has changed the city in so many positive ways.
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