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Work planned at Scottdale's Pittsburgh Street Park

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Residents who live near the Pittsburgh Street Park in Scottdale went to the borough's parks and recreation commission asking for some improvements to the park.

That spurred the commission into action. In fact, it has pushed a plan into motion to work on improvements at each of the borough's seven parks.

The first activity is scheduled Saturday with a Scottdale Parks Community Project Day beginning at 9 a.m. at the Pittsburgh Street Park.

Commission member Colleen Kenney said the residents came to a commission meeting shortly after she joined in 2012.

“Some of the neighbors surrounding the Pittsburgh Street Park came to a meeting and asked us if we could do something about that park,” Kenney recalled. “Of all the seven parks in town, that park has really been neglected.”

The parks and recreation committee acts as a recommendation agency for council. Kenney said the group brought its ideas to council about what work was needed at the Pittsburgh Street Park.

“We recommended that they take out equipment that was damaged and could not be repaired, it was unsafe, and that we power wash and paint equipment that could be saved,” she said. “(We also suggested buying) new swings.”

Melissa Carey, who lives directly across the street from the park, said one of the first things residents in the area did was show members of the park commission what was needed.

“We walked them around and showed them this playground equipment was not only almost nonexistent when compared to the other parks (in the borough), but also not safe,” she said.

Neighbors suggested the removal of some tree stumps on the property. Repairs are needed to the fence.

Council approved the donation of $500 for needed supplies.

The commission is now looking for volunteers to go to the park Saturday and help with what work needs to be done. No particular skills are necessary. Anyone who may be interested can just show up that day. Kenney doesn't expect to be at the park more than three hours.

The group also is seeking donations from community residents, Scout groups, church groups and business organizations to help.

“We're trying to get all kinds of people involved,” Kenney said.

A meeting between commission members and those who live near the Pittsburgh Street Park was to be held May 14 to compile a list of what supplies will be needed when everyone goes to work Saturday.

Carey stressed the importance of having a park where people feel comfortable going.

“Our main concern is making this a community place,” Carey said, adding the park can have a social relevance as community members see each other there and are more apt to chat with each other. “Without having a park that's functional you lose that. It's not just about having things for the kids, but providing that space where the community comes to meet. That's a great function of the park.”

She said neighborhood kids like to participate in pick-up games and having them at the neighborhood park is a definite benefit.

“We know where they are. We can look out our window or sit on our porch and see where they are,” Carey said. “They have a space where they can get together that's safe.

Kenney said the plan of the commission is to have a project day at each of the Scottdale parks.

“That's our first project. Those are the people that came to us,” Kenney said. “We put together a three-to-five year plan. We took pictures of all the parks and the things we needed at the parks and put them in the plan to the borough. They gave us their blessing, told us to move forward with it....Every time we've presented something, they've thanked us for being proactive.”

If there is inclement weather Saturday, the work will take place on a different day.

“I hope we get people interested,” Kenney said. “I think Scottdale is a great little town. The parks are fabulous...I think we need them to look nice.”

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-8876101 or ppaterra@tribweb.com.

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