The grant, approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, will fund a project that aims to improve trails and safety in the park.

By Ashlee Green

Photo: This watershed runoff point near the intersection of Mairdale Avenue and Riverview Drive is a priority target for the Woods Run Stormwater Management Project. By Neil Strebig

A $200,000 state grant was approved on Tuesday, Sept. 17, to help rehabilitate Riverview Park in Pittsburgh’s Northside. The grant was approved by the Commonwealth Financing
Authority, an independent agency of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The project that the monies will help fund,
according to the City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Management and Budget funding request form, aims to improve trails and make the park safer.

“Riverview* Park provides valuable recreational opportunities for Pittsburgh residents and
visitors,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin in an email. “This funding will go toward trail and stormwater improvements, parking, and beautification enhancements including a new park entrance gateway. It’s just one part of the Wolf Administration’s overall
effort to improve our communities in Pittsburgh and across the commonwealth.”

This grant is part of a larger, roughly $2 million stormwater management project in Riverview Park by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) called the Woods Run Stormwater Management Project. A combined effort of the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN), Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and Friends of Riverview Park (FORP), the Woods Run Stormwater Management Project, which is set to kick off this fall, has the goal of reducing both combined sewage overflows and land erosion.

The City of Pittsburgh has agreed to supplement the PWSA’s $2 million with as much as $500,000 for Riverview Park entrance enhancements, like lighting, benches, and signage. The grant approved on Sept. 17 is part of these $500,000 enhancement funds.

“These grant dollars help local communities move forward on projects that improve safety, park access and improve recreational outlets,” said Senator Wayne Fontana in a press release. “I am pleased that state dollars will help these projects advance.”

“I’m happy to have supported these two park projects’ grant applications,” said state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl in a press release. “These parks—whether small neighborhood gathering spots or large, regional treasures, are a fundamental part of the health and vitality of our neighborhoods and we must continue to support their existence and help them thrive.”

“Working with the City of Pittsburgh, PWSA and ALCOSAN has been great,” stated Mark Masterson, Chair of FORP. “We have exceptional partners that are working to address some major stormwater issues in the park. We saw an opportunity to improve its ecology and to enhance its connection to the surrounding neighborhood. By working collaboratively with the City, PWSA and ALCOSAN, we are creating a lasting asset that families will enjoy for years while also significantly reducing stormwater inflows into the sewer system.”

For ongoing coverage on the Woods Run Stormwater Management Project, visit our website at www.thenorthsidechronicle.com.

*In the original version of this story in print, Riverview Park was mistakenly named as Riverside Park. We regret the error.