Open Space Reinvestment and Development
At the heart of our open space reinvestment and development program is the act of turning vacant land into green space assets. Throughout the Hilltop, there is land that can be activated as community green spaces. We can enhance quality of life through play spaces, parks and habitats, which create assets that can serve as drivers of community reinvestment. We have many projects that reinvest in vacant land.
Parks Redevelopment and Advocacy:
South Side Park - The Hilltop Alliance formed the volunteer-based advocacy group, Friends of South Side Park (FOSSP), in 2015. The group focuses on the ecological restoration of Jurassic Valley and hosts volunteer events in South Side Park, a 65-acre public park which borders the South Side Slopes, Arlington and South Side Flats. South Side Park underwent a public Master Plan process in 2018 to drive future park reinvestment. FOSSP hosts the annual Goat Fest event which celebrates the the Allegheny Goatscape goat herd that works to remove invasive species in Jurassic Valley in South Side Park.
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McKinley Park & the Haberman Corridor Master Plan - In 2015 the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the Hilltop Alliance led a comprehensive community planning process to develop a McKinley Park Master Plan, an 85-acre public park, and the Haberman Corridor Plan, an urban right-of-way containing steps, sidewalks and trails, linking McKinley Park to East Warrington Avenue's South Hills Junction T- Station and the Warrington Avenue Recreation Center.
Greenways: A collection of City-owned, overgrown and adjacent vacant lots between Arlington Avenue and Brosville Street inspired the creation of the Knoxville Incline Greenway, a newly designated greenway in the City of Pittsburgh.
Hilltop Urban Farm: A nonprofit, community-centered farm in Pittsburgh’s Hilltop community. With development and core programming underway throughout 2018 and 2019, Hilltop Urban Farm is set to transform the land it currently occupies. Located on 107 acres of land – with 23 acres dedicated to farming – it is a multi-pronged initiative that produces locally-grown crops, provides agriculture-based education, generates entrepreneurial opportunities, and strengthens communities. Given its size, scope and reach, it will ultimately become the largest urban farm in the United States and serve as a resource for urban farming initiatives. The Hilltop Urban Farm will feature a Youth Farm, Farmer Incubation Program and Farmer’s Market.
Lunchtime Lot: In 2017, Allentown residents Bobby & Jolie Valentine were the driving force behind creating the Lunchtime Lot, next to Paisano’s Pizzeria. Working with partners including GTECH and Neighborhood Allies, the opening of the Lot featured the new penguins art installation by Artist James Simon. In October of 2020, the Hilltop Alliance renovated the Lunchtime Lot to be optimized for outdoor sales and seating for local eateries, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wildflower Lots: We have helped to convert numerous vacant lots into wildflower gardens, pollinator pathways, and habitats for bees and birds. With the support of community stewards, fifteen vacant lots were planted with wildflowers in Beltzhoover, Allentown, Knoxville and Mt. Oliver City.
Open Space Reinvestment and Development in the News