CONGRESSMAN DOYLE PRESENTS CHECK TO PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY

August 23, 2005
Press Release

Pittsburgh, PA – U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14) today presented a check for $720,000 in federal funding to Meg Cheever, President of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Mayor Tom Murphy, and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato for an initiative to install clear, comprehensive and consistent signs throughout the four largest parks of the City of Pittsburgh --Schenley, Frick, Highland and Riverview parks.

“I’m glad that I was able to help the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy with the important work it is doing in partnering with the City to revitalize these great urban parks,” Congressman Doyle said. “This signage initiative will definitely improve the accessibility and aesthetic appeal of the parks and benefit everyone who visits them.”

Congressman Doyle worked successfully to earmark $720,000 for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU). This legislation authorizes $286.5 billion in federal spending on surface transportation programs over six years. TEA-LU covers highways, bridges, mass transit, and a number of transportation-related programs like safety and research. President Bush recently signed this bill into law.

“I want to commend Senator Specter, who also worked hard to secure substantial funding for this initiative as well,” Congressman Doyle added. “This was a team effort, and I’m proud to be part of the Pittsburgh’s Parks Conservancy’s team with the senior Senator from Pennsylvania.”

Congressman Doyle secured $720,000 for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy project during the House consideration of the TEA-LU bill, and Senator Specter added $2.2 million more for the signage program and for trail restoration in the parks when the Senate subsequently took up the bill.

The money will be used to develop signs for the city’s four large urban parks; the new signs will be aesthetically consistent with the parks environment and will provide clearer directions. The money will also be used for improvements in the hundreds of trails that lace through the park woodlands and meadows. All park improvements are being conducted in accordance with the Regional Parks Master Plan organized by the City of Pittsburgh with the participation of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and released in 2000. The Parks Master Plan involved an elaborate public process, including over thirty public meetings.

“The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is making great strides in partnering with the city administration to restore these parks and in educating the public about the ecology, history and design of the parks,” Congressman Doyle added. “This public-private partnership has played a vital and important role over the last nine years in increasing appreciation for Pittsburgh’s remarkable public spaces and in working to preserve and improve them. It is a legacy of which Mayor Murphy and the whole region can be proud.”

“The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is enormously grateful to Congressman Doyle and Senator Specter for recognizing the importance of urban parks to the quality of life of the region,” said Conservancy President, Meg Cheever. “We were very fortunate in receiving a generous grant from the Buhl Foundation to fund the conceptual design of our signage program for which we are very grateful. Now, to think that, due to Congressman Doyle and Senator Specter’s help, we can move to implementation of the plan almost immediately is very exciting.”

“We in the City are proud to have initiated the public-private partnership with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to improve and restore our four largest historic parks”, said Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy. “I am delighted that we have received this generous federal help to move our restoration plans along.”

"As a lifelong city resident, I am fully aware of the tremendous asset that we have in our parks systems," said Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato. "More than five million visits are made to our parks annually, and I am continually impressed by the efforts that our elected leadership, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and our residents make to enhance and preserve our parks."

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and revitalizing the City of Pittsburgh’s park lands. It was founded in 1996, and signed a public-private partnership agreement with the City of Pittsburgh in 1998. The Parks Conservancy has raised over $20 million since that time for parks restoration projects and programs.

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Congressman Doyle presents a check to Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato (on far left), City Councilman Doug Shields, Meg Cheever, Mayor Tom Murphy, and State Representative Dan Frankel

More information about the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy can be found at its web site,https://www.pittsburghparks.org.

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