The money will go toward a master site development plan for the 11-acre park.
By Matthew Benusa
Photo: Lauren Stauffer
Fowler Park in Perry Hilltop will be seeing an upgrade soon. In September, the City of Pittsburgh was awarded $40,000 for a master site development plan to upgrade the 11-acre park as part of its larger long-term, city-wide planning project, OpenSpacePGH.
The grant is distributed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)’s Community Conservation Partnership Program (C2P2) with monies gathered from a number of sources, including the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, Pennsylvania Trails Fund, and the Environmental Stewardship Fund.
With the funds gathered from a number of different sources, Mayor Bill Peduto had a lot of people to thank in a press release. He said, “This is great news for Perry South, and I want to thank Senator Wayne Fontana, Representative Jake Wheatley and Councilman Daniel Lavelle for their support.”
In its current state, the park contains a swimming pool, playground, basketball court, and grassy sports areas.
The expansion of the park will begin with the City absorbing the two fields in the sports area—the old baseball field and the football field—since The Pittsburgh Project currently leases that land to the City. Further investments in the park are still in the planning stages.
Perry Hilltop Citizens Council Board President Dwayne Barker has a lot in mind for how the City can invest in the park. Barker “would like to see an update to the swimming pool, a refurbished or rebuilt playground, a full basketball court,” and more, he said.
The path that connects the upper part of the park, where the fields are, to the lower part with the playground and pool, is overgrown according to Barker, and redoing the path “gives younger people safer travels… we want to make sure the path is redone.”
“What makes sense for the football field? Is it adding bleachers? Or is it adding or redoing the water fountains?” Barker asked, pointing toward the ongoing discussions around the master plan for the park. Additionally, he’d like to see a parking lot added since Charles Street “is heavily congested with parked cars during pee wee football games,” which he said makes it hard for people to get around.
Once upon a time, Barker added, there were two full basketball courts in Fowler Park, but “they were torn down to build the basketball building, which has yet to be completed,” he said. “We really need some attention to complete the basketball building.”
Keep up-to-date on the Fowler Park master site development plan and more happenings from the Perry Hilltop Citizens Council at https://www.perryhilltop.org/.