Allegheny County Comprehensive Parks Master Plan

Public Comments Received

APRIL 11, 2000

  • Development limits opportunity for expansion of recreational facilities [R]
  • Girls' field hockey - need space/fields [R]
  • Overuse of fields creates more scheduling problems [R]
  • Create large athletic complex in a park (Erie, PA) [R]
  • If fields are taken out of commission, provide alternate sites/fields while fields being rehabilitated [R]
  • Fields with artificial surfaces [R]
  • Indoor facility [R]
  • Facilities should be well maintained and well managed to get maximum use and benefit [R]
  • Municipalities cannot meet needs of diverse interests and uses (skateparks, in-line skating/hockey) [R]
  • Trail use - walkers and hikers - designated trails for different users - increase width of road to accommodate walkers, runners, bikes, dog walkers, in-line skaters (South Park especially) [C]
  • North Park - tennis facility use has declined [R]
  • Addressing recreation needs of Baby Boomer generation [R]
  • Youth soccer - "2nd generation" needs to be addressed now, how might we address 25-30 year old users in adult leagues? [R]
  • Keep track of long-term needs of all age groups and activities [R]
  • Wildlife concerns in parks [N]

APRIL 11, 2000

  • Trails - Boyce Park has most extensive hiking trails - other park trail systems are lacking - "mucky" trails in other parks - trail use conflicts (bikers/hikers, North Park) - need "dog friendly" trails with areas for dogs to run free - variety and interest needed in trail systems [R]
  • Publicity - no public awareness/communications - no events in Harrison Hills - County has not conducted events here - "forgotten park" [P]
  • Harrison Hills - "diamond in the rough" - Rachel Carson Trail [O]
  • Outreach - County newsletter once a year (sent out randomly now) [P]
  • Harrison Hills - Trails - special events to celebrate - Rachel Carson's birthday/Earth Day [SE]
  • Preservation of natural and cultural areas [N, H]
  • Public education [E]
  • "Friends of Allegheny County Parks" - volunteer programs - parks organization needed to help fundraise - to address the pressing issues at each park - Boy Scouts/troubled youth trail cleanup projects [PV]
  • Free ski /name a president day at Boyce - it made CNN, but local coverage should be better [P]
  • Aging baby boomers - address their needs [R]
  • Harrison Hills - Boy Scouts used to do trail maintenance [PV, M]
  • Public outreach needs to encourage volunteerism [PV]
  • Volunteer hours to graduate from high school [PV]
  • Web site - Allegheny County - needs maps and directions to parks [P]
  • Trails - not all trails are marked on maps [P]
  • Brochure - listing all facilities and activities - needs to be updated and kept up-to-date [P]
  • Brochure - listing all facilities and activities - needs to be updated and kept up-to-date [P]
  • Each park office should have information for ALL PARKS - facilities and events [P]
  • Collaboration with other groups (Audubon, etc.) [PV]
  • Better publications needed [P]
  • Funding - where does the money go? [F]
  • Updated info needed - deferred public infomation [P]
  • Take advantage of free advertisements and publicity [P]
  • Perceptions of safety at Harrison Hills - drugs, illicit behavior [S]
  • Not sure that police are on top of problems [S]
  • Harrison Hills has a bad reputation [S]
  • Boyce is beautiful - has daily walkers in roads and on trails [R]
  • In winter, plowing roads needed for walkers, as well as for ski area access [M]
  • Basketball courts are crowded, but there are no nets on the hoops [R]
  • Mountain biking shop would do well in Boyce Park [F]
  • Concern over where tax dollars are going [F]
  • Where will funding come from? [F]
  • Advertising - concert at Boyce [P]
  • Internet web address for parks would be inexpensive to maintain [P]
  • Mountain bikers damage - actions needed to help maintain trails [M]
  • Children's safety - update playground equipment - many facilities are outdated [M]
  • Other tennis facilities are available nearby that are free to public [R]
  • Emergency call boxes at key areas throughout parks - for safety/first aid [S]
  • County police do patrol Harrison Hills Park [S]
  • If more people use parks, safety will be increased [S]
  • Some safety concerns in Harrison Hills [S]
  • More citizen involvement - stewardship efforts [PV]
  • Park neglect - Boyce [S]
  • Advertisements - ski area and pool [P]
  • Maintenance is good [M]
  • Cross-country skiing rentals have been removed [R]
  • Off-leash dog areas are needed [R]
  • Boyce and other parks have so much to offer [O]
  • Coordination of necessary operations (inspections - delayed opening of ski area) [M]
  • Wave pool [R]
  • Tennis - one is not used or maintained - open it up for free or reasonable fees [R]
  • Need to invest in parks to save them [F]
  • Cost effectiveness of programs [F]
  • Public/private collaboration [PV]
  • Trails - corridors between parks [OS]
  • Polluted water - Abhers Creek - possible sewer overflow [N]
  • Coordination and cooperation with local municipalities - field use conflicts and scheduling [PV, R]
  • Trail maintenance need isn't major [M]
  • Mandatory drug testing of all park employees - currently dangerous working with heavy equipment, other power tools [M]
  • Organizational structure of workers in parks seems wasteful, expensive - multiple conflicting directives from many bosses [MG]

APRIL 11, 2000

  • Privatize golf courses - reinvest revenue in capital improvements [F]
  • County Parks should be managed by an independent park authority [MG]
  • Return user fee revenue back to recreation facility [F]
  • Deer problems - over population of deer in parks [N]
  • Senior softball - fields needed - perhaps softball complex [R]
  • Trail / vehicular conflicts - expand trail facilities [C, R]
  • Need partnerships - public-private / non-profit / public [PV]
  • Bark park needed - dog area, safe controlled exercise park [R]
  • Re-surface bike path / Re-align Ingomar Road to create more room for path [C]
  • Potential for off road trails [R]
  • Need interpretive trails [E]
  • Swimming pool needs family pass rate [F]
  • Ballfields receive little maintenance from County staff [M]
  • Need a dedicated trail around lake [C]
  • Tennis facilities - lack of management of courts [M]
  • No tennis pro [R]
  • No tennis development program for children [R]
  • Consider opportunities for partnership [PV]
  • Naturalist programs need to be strengthened [N]
  • Need better communications [P]
  • Natural areas are irreplaceable regardless of revenue potential / cash flow [N, F]
  • Local ordinances should require recreation land dedication not fee-in-lieu of dedication [OS]
  • Look into corporate sponsorship of facilities / events [F]
  • Need to involve all municipalities not only those who adjoin property also involve organizations [PV]
  • County could provide support to municipalities for planning, grant writing, etc. [OS]
  • Consider lighting athletic fields [R]
  • Partner with sport associations, organizations [PV]
  • Platform tennis need heaters [R]
  • Support is needed for volunteer organizations - volunteer coordinator - adopt-a-roadway program [PV]
  • Motor sports facility is needed [R]
  • Would like a disc golf facility - can be used by all age groups [R]
  • Need more practical policy for beer permit - two people want to drink a couple of beers have to buy a twenty-five dollar permit [F]
  • Need to link parks to communities - go after transportation enhancement money [OS]
  • Need to retain natural areas within park [N]
  • Need commitment from County officials to retain park land for park uses [MG]
  • Irwin Run - preserve wetland [N]
  • Designate areas as nature reserve [N]
  • Concern with degradation of natural environments [N]
  • Dangerous conditions along bike walking trail [S]

APRIL 11, 2000

1. Current Issues (pink index cards)

What issues related to the county parks system are especially important and need to be addressed?

  • Plan for population (and dog) growth [O]
  • Keep open areas and woods even so [N]
  • Safety for all ages (all kinds) [S]
  • Parking and speed control and sound (boom-box) limits [C, O]

  • Maintain open spaces - wooded areas - Green Space rather than development [N]
  • The amount of littering, especially around the lake is alarming. Enforcement of litterbug law - more fines collected to subsidize park programs [M]
  • Derelict abandoned picnic shelters should be removed - make the park look shabby - not good for image [M]

  • Accessibility by bicycles and pedestrians from surrounding communities. Encourage park users to leave cars at home. Use bicycles and feet to visit park attractions [C]
  • Developing park facilities that will attract and hold young professional population [R]
  • Creating play/recreation opportunities that are not necessarily organized/team league driven - individual sports/fitness activities/lifetime sports [R]
  • Low cost, low maintenance, high use programs [F, M, R]

  • Bike/walk run path -
    Put speed bumps by duck area
    Need to be separate or widened it is very dangerous as is. I know, I've been
    hit twice by bikers while trying to run [C]
  • Mountain bikers on trails in woods - separate trails or bikers need to respect walkers [C]
  • The lake - will it be dredged? [N]
  • Pond at the Nature Center - we are losing it - needs to be dredged [N]
  • Dogs need a fenced in area to run [R]
  • Please, please, get more help to keep our North Park in the beautiful condition it used to be. Fishermen need to clean up after themselves! [M]
  • People speeding in the park - especially by Trynor Field area [C]

  • There needs to be a zero tolerance for littering in the park, loud music should be banned [M, O]
  • All park lands should remain in the park system and not be subdivided and sold to developers [MG]
  • The history of the parks needs to be documented and preserved [H]
  • The deer population need to be controlled [N]

  • Trash, litter in the park. Needs to be picked up! It is 1000 times worse than the so called "dog-poop" problem. And that does not decompose [M]
  • Rabid raccoon problem. County police are aware and state that "can't afford to do anything about it": Someday some unfortunate child will pet the "kitty-cat" and get bitten by these bold rabid raccoons. I don't think the County can afford not to do anything about it [N]

  • Doggie bag dispensers are a really good idea. How about more of them! [M]
  • Signage advising lake walkers of other trail locations - lower pressure on roads [C]

  • Lids for trash cans, or other methods for containing trash [M]

  • Mesophytic [N]

  • Maintenance of structures [M]
  • Maintenance of drainage at roads and into waterways to show erosion controlled [N]
  • Maintenance of park trees and shrubs with professional tree trimming [M]

  • Funding and consistent, competent management:
    Independent parks authority funded by dedicated tax revenue
    Parks director - credentialed, experienced, successful
    Possible opportunity for the community parks to opt into a county parks authority [F, MG]
  • Preservation of existing parkland:
    Commit to not selling park land
    Commit to not using park land for non-park purposes (transfer station,
    training centers, non-park administration) [MG]

  • Congestion in the boat house area [C]
  • It seems the pool is losing attendance. The rates are very high on a daily basis, why not have season passes? [F]
  • Promote other areas in park for jogging and biking [R]

  • Volunteers are definitely committed - utilize them - start in small areas and let it grow [PV]

  • Dog dirt on walking areas [M]

  • Traffic issues along Ingomar - Wildwood Rd [C]
  • Sale of private homes on park land increasing too fast. Why do we need to sell off land. Where does revenue go? [MG]

  • Maintaining paddle courts and tennis courts [M]

  • Please invest in some animal-proof trash containers. Garbage tends to be strewn all over after a busy weekend [M]

  • Resurfacing of bike path W. Park [M]
  • Move traffic on Ingomar Rd over 1 foot away from bike path for safety [C]

  • Install raised animal proof garbage cans in North Park [M]

  • Over population of deer [N]

2. Facilities and Programs (blue index cards)

What are the most important facilities or programs in the parks system that should be maintained or improved? What new facilities or programs should be added?

Existing Facilities/Programs:

  • Bicycling trails [R]

New Facilities/Programs:

  • Disc Golf course (Frisbee Golf), Disc Golf pro-shop and concessions [R, F]

Existing Facilities/Programs:

  • Increase funding for improvement of naturalist programs/education [N, E]
  • Trail signage and maintenance [M]
  • Wetlands maintained [N]

New Facilities/Programs:

  • Offer pool memberships - more usage perhaps? [R]
  • Even though there is pressure for more ball fields, sports complexes, people go to North Park for the beauty, green space and nature, which is shrinking in their own communities. They need to lobby for greenspace/athletic centers in their own communities. Our county parks are for everyone, not special interest groups to enjoy [N, OS]
  • The lake bike/walking trail is very congested - improvements? [C]

  • Keep the area around the Wagman observatory free of excess light to preserve the watching of astronomy [O]
  • Keep programs of music at Hartman Acres [SE]

  • Skating rinks - can we utilize year round? [R]
  • Playgrounds - expand add more to them and upkeep [R, M]
  • Walk/bike path needs repaved and widened. Maybe separate and make 2 lanes. A bike and walk [C]
  • Add some volleyball courts. They are low maintenance and little upkeep [R]

  • Conserve natural resources [N]
  • Provide affordable outdoor recreation facilities [R]

  • Sports complex/motor sports facility - currently the farm show building in Harrisburg charges $1000 per day to use their parking lot for motor sport events. Such a facility could attract training schools, car company ride and drivers, etc. during the week and local sports car clubs on the weekends [SE]

  • Bicycle path around the lake needs to be re-paved. The road around the lake, while not in as bad shape as the bike path, should also be re-paved [M]
  • The lake should be dredged again. It is starting to silt in, in certain places [N]

  • The pool [R]
  • Tennis courts / paddle tennis [R]
  • Boathouse [R]
  • Lake [N]
  • Golf course [R]
  • Nature center [N]
  • Skating rink [R]

  • Most important facilities to be maintained and improved: The walking areas and trails (around the lake and throughout and running area in the park) and the bike, dog walking area. Because more people utilize there areas. These are not special interest, high overhead hobbies. The (multi purpose) walking circle around the lake can be improved by making the road that encompasses the lake one way. Narrow the road to one lane, thereby allowing for expansion of the general purpose (walking, biking, dog walking, roller-blading, running) area. Also by making traffic flow one way, there will be automatic reduction of traffic, enhancing the park setting. Ban semi trucks and reducing the speed limit to 15 MPH will help too! [R, C]

  • New facility: a hiking trail in the western woods to take the public over to Rte. 19 Wexford - This can be a quiet use of the narrow park area behind the McKinney neighborhood, and out of sight from it. [R]

  • Nature Centers & Naturalists: critical for developing understanding of park eco-system for schools, families, and park administration [N]

Existing Facilities:

  • Playgrounds - great job in new facilities and added garbage cans. Important to maintain [R, M]
  • Swimming pool - need improved rates. They are too high on a daily basis. Why not have season passes like city pools. The pool seemed to be empty last season [F]

New facilities:

  • Roller skating facility - there needs to be more activities for teens [R]

  • Dog Park - An excellent model (but probably too small) is Misty Pines Recreational Area on Rt. 910. It is privately owned but has good ideas. Bark chip surface makes for low maintenance. [R]

  • Playgrounds [R]
  • Tennis courts [R]
  • Paddle courts [R]
  • Golf course [R]
  • Skating rink [R]
  • Trails [R]

  • Swimming pool [R]
  • Picnic groves [R]
  • Rental buildings for groups [F]

  • Paddle courts and tennis courts / raise prices if necessary / even remove some of the tennis courts [R, F]

  • Provide better maintenance for hiking trails in park [M]

  • Separate trails or areas for bikers - esp. along roadways [C]
  • An enclosed area where dogs can exercise and socialize year round [R]
  • An arboretum (with non-profit partners) [N, PV]

  • Trail system - Paved lake and south ridge trails, and the unpaved trails throughout the park [R]
  • Lake - Sedimentation pond needed at Pine Creek end of lake [N]
  • Golf course - It can be a big money maker if handled properly. Much better use could be made of its restaurant and liquor license [F]
  • Golf courses [R]
  • Ice skating rink [R]
  • Volleyball courts [R]

  • Construct additional surfaced bike, jog or walk paths. Extend bike path in North Park to skating rink and beyond [R, C]
  • Remove dead trees and prune maintenance as necessary volunteers and crew [M]

  • The most important park "facilities" are the "unimproved" green space in the parks. It is very much my hope that these undeveloped areas will remain undeveloped [N]

3. Vision Ideas for the future (yellow index cards)

What ideas do you have regarding what the parks system should be in the future?

  • Like the idea of connecting the parks. Hartwood, Deer Lakes and North Park might work for hike/bike trails. [OS]
  • What about the mini arboretum at Wildwood/East of Babcock? Duquesne Light was funding maintenance several years ago [N]
  • A system beloved by residents - proud of the parks, well maintained and used. I am a Penn State Master Gardener and work at the trail gardens surrounding the veterans memorial at Babcock and Wildwood. I think our work beautifies the corner and attracts lots of visitors. Maybe more private organization would be willing to maintain parts of the park - Friends of the Park! [PD, PP]

  • I feel we should utilize all our resources better. The skating rink is an example. It is only used for 4 or 5 months. This is a waste [MG]

  • Very limited use of motor vehicles [C]
  • Limit through traffic vehicles not using park facilities [C]

  • Buy more land! We are going to need more area with the population explosion [OS]
  • Area - specific for roller blading [R]
  • Control the grapevines and bittersweet - it is destroying the trees [N]
  • Get volunteers to repair groves, etc. - this was done at Racoon State Park [PV]
  • Park manager should have a background in natural resource management [M, N]
  • Greater emphasis in the environmental education programs [E]
  • A trail system linking the parks [OS]

  • A tree nursery to serve as on going supply for restoration of trees in all the groves, on a schedule, with professional team of arborists/foresters. And restore at least partof the Arboretum, off Wildwood Road [N]

  • More large green areas that families or groups can utilize as they need - i.e., large fields can be used for important team sports, picnicking, fly kites or model planes. These areas should be unstructured. [R]
  • Educational trail system (self guided). Perhaps a part of the Rachel Carson Trail. Create or mark trails [E]
  • Park should be something that all can enjoy. I would love to see a parks be enjoyed by all not just special interests (i.e., golf course). Noise level from loud car radios and motorcycles. Fenced in dog training area would be great! [R, O]

  • Encourage and support volunteers [PV]
  • Paid volunteer coordinator - tremendous multiplier [PV]
  • Volunteers from Allegheny did great work with trails 10 years ago - but not enough cooperation from county [PV]
  • N. P. Arboretum group / N. P. Walkers Group/Trail bikers, Scouts, etc. [PV]

  • Provide support for community parks:
    Purchasing cooperative
    Planning support
    Naturalist support
    Grant application support
    Financial support [OS]

  • Promote some of the other areas in the park for jogging - jogging trails - bike trails / the lake route is getting very crowded and congested [C]

  • A metro park system that has similar facilities for use by population in regional areas of the county. Citizens who live in southeast area of the county and wouldn't drive to N. Park to play Frisbee Golf could learn [R]
  • Separate Parks director [MG]
  • Profit center for each facility (rink, golf) [F]

  • There should be a bike path separate from walkers [C]

  • It is a wonderful park and needs to be maintained [M]
  • The pool is too big and the water too cold [R]

  • Work with other groups, such as Western PA Conservancy, friends of riverfront, to preserve and expand open space in Allegheny County [OS]

  • Keep the "rural" atmosphere so residents can enjoy "park" activities close to home [O]
  • Keep commercial operations out (or on outside edges of parks for revenue) [F]
  • Leave room for future changes and additions [MG]

  • Expand park system due to heavy use [MG]

APRIL 13, 2000

  • Recreation facilities that were never developed [R]
  • Corn fields not harvested might be used as recreation fields - tennis courts and swimming pools [R]
  • Historic area - Round Hill Park - some facilities are not being maintained - no one on-site at Round Hill farm to describe farm to visitors [H, M]
  • What happened to Harmony School? This was a lost opportunity [H]
  • Historic items have disappeared [H]
  • Round Hill Park should celebrate the history of farming and this farming community - tribute to our forefathers [H]
  • Fishing pond should be considered as part of farming community [H]
  • Angora Gardens in White Oak Park - desire to expand - need publicity - can be a facility that the county "shows off" to increase visitors - need to make it wheelchair accessible - more hands-on opportunities - restore park maintenance/ office to stables - for use in animal therapy [P, A]
  • Archery hunting - feels it should come back in the parks - will help control deer overpopulation [N]
  • Handicap accessibility - open doors for the handicapped - accommodate physically challenged users / Historical and recreational facilities would be enhanced for diversity of users / all or most parks should meet standards / proud of Round Hill - accessible to users [O]
  • Gardens provide opportunity to educate and engage visitors and residents in farming and gardening [E]
  • Need a complex of recreational fields with restrooms, bleachers and parking, batting cage, refreshments (to generate income for equipment, etc.) / Round Hill has "available land" - Elizabeth Township NEEDS this facility / Project has been stopped at the County level [R]
  • Skate Park with ramps [R]
  • Purpose of Round Hill Park should be farm - park could make use of farm more than it currently does - Need staff presence on weekends - if you want facilities, you can go to South Park, etc. [MG]
  • Birdwatching, other passive uses are prevalent [N]
  • Development might be counterproductive to the intended use of the parks [MG]
  • Update and improve interpretive plaques throughout the farm - (Example: cats around the farm serve a specific purpose - visitors should be informed) [E]
  • Staff - there used to be more staff, now there's not enough staff to maintain the park [M]
  • Consider boarding horses to offer trail rides - pony rides could generate funds [F]
  • Jerry LaFrankie, RH Park Manager - 8 laborers and 1 manager - current staffing is an issue - the history of visitors is recorded - a current inventory is being conducted so no historic fixtures or features will be lost in the future - feels the farm should be nominated on the National Register - plenty of room available for recreation while preserving farm - staff is at Round Hill 365 days/year - privatization will not happen without a fight if the park is jeopardized
  • County-community partnerships are needed [PV]
  • Publicity problem - need to get word out re: events and facilities available at parks [P]
  • How can parks generate revenue to support operations and maintenance [F]
  • Cooperative partnership between Angora Gardens at White Oak Park with Round Hill Farm [PV]
  • Walking trails - need to maintain - Bridle Trail [M]
  • Need to coordinate maintenance with natural processes (Monarch butterfly caterpillars were destroyed when fields were mowed before pupation) [M, N]
  • Horses - trail maintenance [M]
  • Nature study at Round Hill - increase awareness of ecology - should keep holding these programs at Round Hill Park - publicity should be increased [N, P]
  • Historic importance - Angora House was part of the underground railroad [H]
  • Interpretive signs - talking exhibits - provide more information about the animals [E]
  • Need larger boating lake [R]
  • "Creature comfort" - 1 or 2 picnic shelters with electricity [M]
  • County should better educate its staff (especially those in city) who set policies - "County staff should come out and milk cows" [MG]
  • One lane bridge - off Rt. 48/McClintock Road at White Oak Park - is dangerous situation - safety issue - bridge should be widened [C, S]
  • Expand hiking trails in all parks [R]
  • Continue/expand free concerts at South Park and Hartwood [SE]
  • Celebration of lights requires workers that take efforts away from other parks [SE]
  • Perception of poor maintenance by public "Doesn't that Park Manager see what's happening here?" - Maintenance questions to Park manager by public when the maintenance requests are not being honored in a timely manner - deferred maintenance leads to a public perception problem [M]
  • Policy changes to improve park maintenance [M]
  • Display antiques at Blessing of the Animals [SE]
  • Swimming pools - Round Hill needs one [R]
  • R.H. doesn't get the same attention as the other county parks - "orphaned park" because Round Hill is so far south - issue within the park system [MG]
  • Need to maintain the integrity of Round Hill Park [MG]
  • Need to keep the flavor of the park! - Must review the deed that designated Round Hill Park [MG]
  • County outreach - newsletter would keep residents informed - History of the Pierce family [P]
  • Spur from Round Hill to Yough. Trail - 1-2 miles [R]

APRIL 13, 2000

  • Back entrance to park needs beautified currently being revised by PennDot near Nativity [PD]
  • Bike/walking path is dangerous need to separate uses and from car traffic [C]
  • Port a Johns placed in poor locations [M]
  • Poor maintenance lack of manpower [M]
  • Vacant homes should be rehabilitated - farm houses [M]
  • Need additional funding for parks maintenance [F, M]
  • Focus on maintaining existing facilities [M]
  • Volunteerism - partner with school district [PV]
  • Need for soccer fields to meet local communities' needs [R]
  • Need to identify distance along trails [R]
  • Need lighting along Corrigan Drive [S]
  • Horse trails / facilities need to be rehabilitated [R]
  • Ice skating rink is needed - must maintain [M]
  • Reduction of lanes in Corrigan Drive traffic circle will create problems [C]
  • Crossing Corrigan Drive at Maple is a problem [C]
  • Preserve flat areas for children to bike and skate in [R]
  • Bleachers need to be placed at fields at fair grounds [O]
  • Concern with private development occurring in park development not sensitive to park [MG]
  • Partner with prison work release programs for general park maintenance projects [PV]
  • No irrigation for trees - need to improve infrastructure [M]
  • Need training on proper way to maintain park facilities grounds [M]
  • Need public tennis courts - maintain courts you have [R, M]
  • Private enterprise should or should it not be permitted within the park? [F]
  • Preserve undeveloped areas in parks [N]
  • Local municipalities cannot meet demand for fields [R]
  • Mt. Lebanon High School sports participation was 38-45% of the high school population 8 years ago - today over 70% participate, due to increase participation in women's sports - need field hockey, lacrosse fields [R]
  • Enhance ice skating facility [R]
  • Park roads closed in winter - should be kept open year round [C]
  • Reduce speed limit to 15 mph [C]
  • Need to place reflectors along road to reduce vehicular / deer accidents [S]
  • 450 emergencies 25% cardiac arrest need AED units in police cars at golf course - local EMS coordinator [S]
  • Golf courses - who uses it and who pays for it - fees too low - maintenance pay not competitive - related to all facilities [F]
  • Traffic has increased in past 10 years on Corrigan Drive [C]
  • Model air field need to prune trees at runway approach difficult to land planes [M]
  • Need to set aside monies in a capital reserve operation reserve fund [F]
  • Revenues generated from recreation not returned to parks goes to general fund [F]
  • Need to speed up play at golf course [R]
  • Bike lane - keep gravel off trail [M]
  • Restore horse stalls in building at South Hall / 1990 Allegheny County 2,700 horses / Round Barn used to be a riding stable / Need to rehabilitate park for use by horse riders could generate money / PA Equine Council [R]
  • Safety big issue on Corrigan Drive - need lighting barrier between vehicles and bike path [S]
  • Enforce speed limit [C]
  • High priorities should be easily maintained - low maintenance [M]
  • Taxes support park - fees should be lower [F]
  • Need commitment of county officials towards park system [MG]
  • Need commitment of county officials towards park system [MG]
  • Parks need to be a selling point - quality of life [P]
  • Look at Pittsburgh's adopt a park program [PV]
  • Bring back equestrian activities polo horseback riding, etc. [R]
  • Animals should be an integral part of park system - study methods of deer control [N]
  • Enhance game preserve [N]
  • Continue to expand concert series and little theater [SE]
  • Children's play area - needs restroom facilities for children - existing facilities have been designed for adults [R]
  • Restoration of historic buildings and structures [H]
  • 9 employees maintain 27 holes of golf [M]
  • Publicize what is in the parks/programs [P]

APRIL 13, 2000

1. Current Issues (pink index cards)

What issues related to the county parks system are especially important and need to be addressed?

  • Halt current/progressive deterioration of major installations and facilities of oldest park (south) [M]
  • Establish public owned nature of parks - need for volunteerism, subsidy by private industry, personal responsibilities of users (labor not restricted to unions!) [PV, F]
  • Improve training/resource level of # of staff: subsidize continuing education, hire new people [M]

  • Huge recreational facilities needed [R]
  • Outdoor recreation much more important to 25-44 year olds (need this to attract new people to area) [R]

  • Playing Fields(sports) - soccer, baseball, lacrosse, other multi sport field [R]
  • Hiking trails [R]
  • Bike Paths [R]
  • Playgrounds [R]

  • We need professional (non-political) management to run our parks [MG]
  • We need committed and continued support. A philosophy needs to be developed that sees Parks, Recreation as important [MG]
  • More publicity for our parks and facilities [P]

  • The tennis facilities are in need to be repaired or replaced [M]

  • Walking trail along roadway: need better separation of auto and vehicular traffic and bicycle/pedestrian traffic; need separate or separation of bicycle/rollerblade and walking/jogging [C]
  • Corrigan Circle: do not reduce to one lane. One lane will result in terrible traffic problems, remove ability to circle completely around, completely divide area, there are many ways to get through park [C]

  • Safety - specifically along Corrigan Drive [S]

  • Lighting along Corrigan Drive [S]

  • Beautification [PD]
  • More gardens - flowers [PD]
  • Trails - walking, running, biking [R]

  • Maintenance [M]
  • Safety [S]
  • Traffic flow (bad idea for the circle) [C]

  • Fix Edgebrook Soccer field w/o baseball diamond and make good field for soccer. Perhaps light it too! [R]

  • Deferred maintenance [M]
  • Make it easier to rent facilities [F]
  • Lack of fields (ability to utilize) [R]
  • South Park - existing field - Edgebrook [R]

  • Maintenance and restoration of the picnic grounds [M]
  • Keep the grass cut [M]
  • Better maintenance on golf course [M]

  • Condition of groves and shelters [M]
  • Either demolish or repair/replace shelters [M]
  • Speeding on Corrigan Drive [C]
  • Corrigan Drive as a hangout [S]

  • Settlers Cabin Park/trails on undeveloped land [R]
  • With increasing interest in fitness and nature more people want to hike and bike. They are looking to more than just parking, picnic tables and toilets in a park. The County owns wonderful areas of natural landscape which have been largely neglected [N]

  • Putting limited/sufficient light on the trail adjacent to Corrigan Drive [S]
  • Adjacent to Corrigan new walking trail need curb/barrier to protect pedestrians [C]
  • Bring in outside mobile vendors - for ice cream, hot dogs, etc. (a selection not just one). This is available in parks around the U.S., but not here. The concert needs this too [F]
  • Maintain/repair buildings ASAP complete with lightning

  • Improve existing soccer field. Grass surface needs improvement [M]

  • Adequate athletic facilities [R]
  • Maintenance and up keep [M]
  • Proper financing for growth and continuing [F]

  • Aside from cutting grass and maintenance, the county should invest regularly in improvements so much money budgeted per year rather than wait till things fall apart [M, F]

  • Porta Johns - get rid of them, or at least station them away from the streams where kids turn them over [M]
  • Traffic - dead end at crossover to East Dr 100 Acre Dr. - road is a speedway [C]
  • If you cut a tree down plant a new one [N]
  • Stop bow hunting, the parks are now a private hunting farm [N]
  • Put up a guard rail on Corrigan Drive bike paths [C]

  • The walking paths in S. Park are in need of repairs. Do you have any plans for this?? [M]

  • On Corrigan Drive, one side should be walkers and runners, the other side should be bikes and rollerblades [C]
  • To beautify the "back" entrance to the park in which many motorist enter the park. This is by the Park Valley Lounge on Brownsville Rd. and Cochran Mill Rd. This area is a disgrace! Call PENNDOT and see what they are going to do! [PD]

  • Maintain what we already have [M]
  • Revive and restore the historical Bronze Memorials and their bases [H]
  • PLEASE! Maintain what we have! [M]

  • Preserve all historical parts of the park [H]
  • Preserve all of nature - go above and beyond to do exactly that some things cannot be replaced [N]
  • Volunteers - we would all help if we were permitted!! [PV]
  • Make use of the houses in the park - not torn down but used [M]

  • Even-out running sidewalk along Corrigan Drive. Separate walking / running trail [C]
  • Dog waste signs/fines for people who do not pick up animal droppings (dogs, horses) [M]
  • Lighting along Corrigan Drive. So people can walk/run at night [S]
  • Mark mileage on trails [R]

  • Adequate maintenance / employ enough staff to take care of the park - grass cutting, trimming, garbage disposal [M]
  • Restoration of the picnic groves (so they all can be rented out) [M, F]
  • Improvement of the children's playgrounds at each grove (or another large playground like the one on Corrigan Drive) [R]
  • Low-maintenance improvements should be high priority [M]

  • Trees are being decimated not only due to lack of care but by park's heavy equipment operators who use trees to backstop bucket loaders etc. and rip bark off trees successfully killing them. Also various utility crews (e.g., Columbia Gas & Crown) rip and damage trees [M, N]
  • More park roads should be open in winter (non snow time) [C]
  • Total lack of maintenance and management [M]
  • Tennis courts / program have been ruined [R]

  • While I'm not adverse to some private enterprise, a lodge or Oglebay type operation would not be desirable. The surrounding area is too densely populated [F]

  • Hunting - No hunting. The county will be encouraging more visitors to the park which creates a safety concern. Who wants to find hunters killing animals as I have - including the guts left on the trail! [N]
  • For God's sake, get those caged birds at the preserve some vet care ASAP! [N]
  • Address traffic in and out of the park, groves, parking lots, and traffic speed! [C]
  • From May until September teenagers take over the park - you can't find a parking space and don't think about night walking [S]
  • I truly feel sorry for those who have lost loved ones in an accident. But, must we have memorials throughout the park? [PD]

  • Park in dire need of cleanup, i.e., dead trees that fell during the hurricane of 1998 and more recently during a time of high winds [M]

  • Input and study the current decision to archery hunt in South and North parks. Violence in never the answer and is not family friendly [N]
  • Light Pollution - due to Bethel Park's inability to control light pollution we don't need more [O]
  • Tighten speed control especially at night - maybe more police [C]
  • Improved facilities for nature preserve [N]

  • Teenagers "hanging out" in the parking lots. Drag racing down Corrigan and "doing donuts", this is dangerous [S]
  • Reopen the race track to horseback riders! It is now blocked off completely! [R]

2. Facilities and programs (blue index cards)

What are the most important facilities or programs in the parks system that should be maintained or improved? What new facilities or programs should be added?

  • Fairgrounds and equestrian facilities [R]
  • Trails - all parks - clear, mile markers, maps [R]
  • Lighting (solar powered) progressive [S]
  • Use parks: maintenance / planning / activities in conjunction with county extension services / Penn State Agricultural resources as training ground for future career opportunities - start kids out early [PV, E]
  • School programs - not just episodic uses for recreation [PV]
  • Recognize need for tort - reform related issues: ie., there is an inherent risk in any sport/ physical activity. High limit insurance will limit use by the people with the greatest need to use the public facilities [O]

  • 10-12 new soccer fields needed [R]
  • Lacrosse and field hockey fields needed [R]
  • Girls softball (slow pitch and fast) fields [R]
  • Maintain playing surface of ballfields (Edgebrook field in South Park is deplorable) [M]
  • Maintain all structures and facilities [M]
  • Add additional entrances to parks to cut down on individual road traffic [C]

  • Maintenance of everything - commitment [M]
  • Ski slope ?? - weather [O]
  • Soccer complex - mega field like Erie's Family First Sports Park [R]

  • The tennis courts should be replaced, there are numerous people going to other districts to pay to play tennis when the money could be going to the County [R, F]

  • Tennis:
    Rescue facility from the benign neglect which has decimated attendance
    Repair stream flooding which stops all usage at least twice a year
    Install senior friendly courts - i.e., crushed stone
    Repair existing courts [R, M]

    Most important:

  • Summer concert series [SE]
  • Tennis lack of good courts and any program at all [R]
  • Playhouse (theater) in park is excellent and should be encouraged and expanded [SE]
  • Separate walking and biking paths [C]

  • The golf courses [R]
  • Trails (paved and unpaved) [R]
  • Groves at picnic areas [R]

  • Maintain picnic tables/benches [M]
  • Paint/refurbish buildings [M]
  • Better facility for restrooms / rest areas [M]
  • Additional watering (fountain) areas especially along Corrigan Drive [O]
  • Lighting along Corrigan Drive [S]

  • Lighting along 4-mile Corrigan Drive to permit physical activities (walking, jogging) all year round (safety issue) [S]
  • Running/walking trails [R]
  • Identification of the mileage of the various trails [R]
  • Lighting along Corrigan Drive [S]

  • Soccer fields:
    Need more to meet demand
    Block buildings with change rooms/washrooms
    Lighting on all fields [R]

  • The must heavily used facilities are the paths (walkers, bikers, skaters, etc.) [R]
  • The paved walk around the pond along Maple Springs is very good / suggest some similar pathway (maybe with crushed limestone surface) be built on the opposite side of the valley, i.e. the McConkey side and/or above the skating rink [R]

  • Re: South Park:
    What ball park facilities are available (baseball/softball)?
    Who is permitted to use them?
    How does one go about reserving one for a league use if possible? [R]

  • Shelters need to be repaired or replaced where repair is not possible. They also need to be updated with electricity and toilet facilities [M]
  • Monuments on Corrigan Drive need to be restored to an honorable condition [H]
  • Conditions at Fairground Stables needs to be improved - very visible [M]
  • Friday night concerts are great but need to be kept appealing to general audiences - a variety of music but generally appealing [SE]
  • Outdoor Theater programs available and promoted [SE]
  • Road conditions are awful need to be repaired [M, C]
  • Litter is a huge problem! [M]
  • Skating rental equipment is in awful condition [M]

  • Soccer:
  • Edgebrook - get rid of softball diamond field, is maybe good for soccer
  • More soccer fields and with lights [R]

  • Need to improve ballfields difficult to add fields in municipalities - county parks no neighbors [R]
  • New facilities - soccer complex to meet needs [R]
  • Soccer growing faster than baseball and football (review statistics). Example: Bethel Park 400 to 860 (3 years) [R]

  • For many years the County had promised to better maintain the tennis courts. Unfortunately this project gets sidetracked. This is one of the reasons people have looked to other places to play. The county already has removed about 11-12 courts. They need a plan to have tennis clinics on renovated courts. The courts need to be better maintained [R, M]

  • Golf courses [R]
  • Swimming [R]
  • Skating rinks [R]

  • Golf courses (keep them public) do not privatize!! [R, F]
  • Wave pool [R]
  • Skating rink [R]
  • Maybe expand golf course from 27-36 holes [R]

  • Settlers Cabin:
    Maintenance of trails. (I have been walking trails for 20 years here. They have deteriorated due to use of motorized vehicles. There is no maintenance, no maps, no signs, poor access. Yet the resources is beautiful - a real asset for the County.) Access to trails - maps, signposts, parking at trailheads [R, M, PD]

  • New facilities - new mens/ladies rooms, removal of port-o-johns. (along Corrigan Drive) [M]

  • Maintenance - General landscape and buildings. It is so debilitated as a whole. I'd rather see this expanded before any new issues being addressed [M]

  • Athletic fields - soccer [R]
  • Walking/biking trails [R]
  • Skating/bathrooms [R]

  • There needs to be additional soccer fields in South Park [R]

  • The best thing the county could do is do something about the kids blaring their radios. The loud music ruins it for everyone. Why don't you put a stop to this racket? It would be the single best improvement! [O]

  • Rest rooms (use Mingo (?) Park as a guide) [M]
  • Traffic (speeding) [C]
  • Dogs [O]

  • Improve walking paths:
    Maintain in winter
    Salt the paths when icy
    Add benches for seniors [R, M]

  • The fairgrounds use to have a facility for food and drink. The building is still there, can we not start up a small refreshment stand and tables? [F]
  • The golf course should have a nicer bar and restaurant open to the public and run daily specials [F]
  • A tow rope for the sunny slopes area [O]

  • Improve tennis courts [R]
  • Improve basketball courts [R]
  • Improve picnic shelters, remove "porta-johns" - disgusting! [M]

  • Tennis courts (maybe have a student teaching tennis lessons) [R]
  • Golf course [R]

  • Soccer fields [R]
  • An indoor soccer facility [R]
  • Nature programs - for more than now [N]
  • Nature trails [N]
  • Replacing of trees [N]
  • More concerts Fri/Sat/Sun? [SE]
  • Purchase more property for preservation of nature [N, OS]

  • Improved picnic groves and bathroom facilities (community project) [M]
  • More county use of the tennis courts - we are all members of Allegheny County. So we should be able to use this facility at any time [R]
  • Redo the walking trails [M]

  • Please consider placing Automatic Defibrillators at the golf course and on each police vehicle [S]

  • Need to clean debris from stream that runs throughout the Park. There is raw sewage running into the stream from broken sanitary sewer line, have witnessed dead animals in the streams. Lots of garbage in the stream [M, N]
  • Need to address litter - no fault of employees - the PA Resources Council can suggest volunteer litter collection programs [M]
  • Buildings for the most part are in serious disrepair. The building behind the clock building is in horrific shape [M]
  • Improve signage - directional / buildings / trails [PD]

  • Bathroom updates [M]
  • Keeping grass cut [M]
  • Maintaining white pillared house (behind ice skating rink) [M]
  • No more ball fields [R]
  • No more soccer fields [R]
  • Keep green space and trees [N]

  • Paved bike lanes - extend and maintain [R, M]
  • Clear gravel off the lane [M]
  • Trim trees so we don't get wacked in the face [M]
  • Hiking trails - mulch covered through woods, open areas [M]
  • Put a sign on Buffalo Inn [O]

  • Bike/walking path [R]
  • Pool [R]
  • Golf [R]
  • BMX [R]
  • Skating - Ice/roller [R]
  • Game preserve [N]
  • Better built pavilions and tables [M]
  • Any new facilities should be taken under consideration with a review of our infrastructure [M]
  • Separate the bike and walking paths - prohibit other types of traffic [C]

  • The pony ring needs to be completed [R]
  • Parking lot needs to be enclosed with fencing [O]
  • We need the round barn brought back for our kids. We turned in over 1300 petitions for this. Get back trail rides, carriage rides, boarding, pony cart rides, kids riding lessons [R]

  • Incorporate no maintenance materials when repairing or building structures [M]
  • Repair county installed fence around fairgrounds [M]
  • Use green building practices and recycled content construction materials [O]

  • Pony ring - put up signs so people can find it! There is a pony ring - advertise it! [P]
  • Fix parking lot "area" next to ring so people can pull in and out without damaging the bottom of their cars [M]
  • Put up a shelter/pavilion/picnic area near the Pony ring so people waiting in line can have some shelter [R]

    3. Vision ideas for the Future (yellow index cards)

    What ideas do you have regarding what the parks system should be in the future?

  • Parks: public open space, integrated with rails to-trails programs - encourage preservation of other farming - green space [OS]
  • Open to small public/private enterprise (bike rental, riding/horsemanship, programs, technical schools) agricultural [PV, F]
  • Subsidy/encouragement of agriculture activity by tax breaks, small farms, animal enterprise [OS]

  • Oglebay Park idea: lodge [F]
  • Privatize park or specially earmark sales tax to fund parks [F]
  • Commitment from Allegheny County Executive Director and Council [MG]

  • For the future: a petting zoo for the children (South Park) [R]

  • Integrate all facilities to get maximum utilization for all age groups and all activities [R]

  • Devise method to make Corrigan Drive not a main thoroughfare that is something other than a park drive [C]
  • Improve South Park Zoo [R]

  • Volunteerism [PV]
  • Education [E]
  • Family oriented activities [O]

  • Oglebay type facility [F]
  • Commitment [MG]
  • Foundation [PV]
  • First class [MG]

  • Future - a well maintained well groomed family oriented park than everyone can enjoy [M]
  • More bike/walking trails [R]
  • Improve the Game Preserve [N]
  • County fair - bring it back [SE]

  • Link up trails in all parks via bike trails and the Moutour trail, etc. [OS]

  • We need to promote our parks as the regional gem that they are. We have the natural resources, but we need the mindset [P]

  • Indoor recreational facilities [R]
  • Significantly expand pond [N]

  • Programs for children and our youth to receive education credits for park maintenance [E, M]

  • More parks [OS]
  • More soccer fields with light [R]
  • Soccer fields for pressure local communities have on their fields (i.e., for classic league, top quality teams that are multi-community) [R]

  • Soccer tournaments - holiday weekends - very profitable [R]
  • Put light on Edgebrook [R]

  • Oliver Miller Homestead:
    Please preserve this historic site and try to restore it to a "natural setting" The OMH is dependent on some very devoted volunteers, but of course, we always need a little more help [H]

  • Keep golf courses public and do not privatize them [F]
  • Add another nine or eighteen holes to the golf course [R]
  • Additional baseball/softball fields. Well lighted and maintained [R]

  • An asset the county can be proud of catering to a broad range of interests: children's play areas, picnic areas, games facilities (soccer and baseball fields), trail system for hikers and bikers [R]
  • Get rid of the mindset that either land is developed for a park or merely a land bank and largely ignored [MG]

  • Light on Corrigan [S]
  • Separate bike trail/walking trail [C]

  • What about a outdoor caf with quality fresh food / a classy operation (not what has been offered in the past or currently) [F]
  • Newer structures, to repair or replace old ones [M]
  • More skating and golf, tennis - instruction for children at cheap rates [R, F]

  • Think about building a small soccer complex similar to Boyce Park. The South Hills has a significant shortage of fields [R]

  • Long range planning encompassing financing/maintenance [MG]
  • Entertainment [O]
  • Vision statement [MG]

  • Better educational use of park - the naturalist is good, but more programs. Why did they remove all the trees near China wall? [E]

  • A park should be natural, non alcoholic, safe for man and beast - a quote from Andrew Carnegie [O]

  • A restaurant like the old South Park Inn [F]
  • Horseback riding open to the public [R]

    South Park has a great deal of history - use its history to the park's advantage: American Indians, Whiskey Rebellion, World War II use of buildings in park, etc.! Museum??? [H]

  • Along park entrances: add shrubs/bushes and trees to reduce parking lots from becoming "trolling/display" areas. Kids park next to road trying to gain attention of passing autos. Or move parking areas further away from main roadway [PD, C]
  • Golf course prices should be increased [F]
  • Golf course prices should be higher for "out of county" players [F]

  • A safe, community oriented, natural and well preserved [S, N]
  • A park with most of the facilities and services free or at low cost to the population [F]

  • Money set aside for future instead of year-to-year which has caused serious maintenance problems [F]

  • A reduction in speed limit to for example 15 mi/hr [C]
  • A large sign at park entrance noting that deer cross the roads, caution is necessary and speed limits will be strictly enforced [C, N]
  • An allocation for Strieter Lites should be included. This is a system which will reduce deer-vehicle accidents using reflectors [S]

  • Ensure that human habitation coexists with plant and animal habitation - always keep in mind [N]
  • Strengthen environmental education through events, partnerships, unique plans and award winning ideas [E]
  • Need a special events division to encourage activities both free (funded by grants) and revenue producers which benefit local communities and county. I have a lot of special event ideas - feel free to call me at 734-8353 (work) [SE]
  • Focus on parks history - keep, restore, promote, partner w/ historical society [H]
  • Need to address safety issues - liability reduction to keep insurance premiums down - i.e., trip and fall on paths [S]
  • Have an advisory committee for each park comprised by community officials, leaders and citizens as it can provide regular feedback from daily users [PV]

  • Expand the pony ring - include carriage rides [R]