Citiparks

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Whistles are essential equipment for a number of jobs: gym teacher, football referee, traffic cop. But the humble whistle is perhaps most at home in the hands of a lifeguard, as Alexxis Turner explained. She was the head guard for Phillips Pool in the City of Pittsburgh.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Millions of Americans work outside, in agriculture and fishing, construction and shipping, and in the burgeoning outdoor hospitality industry. While it may seem dreamy to office workers the world over, people who work outside often face tougher conditions, from longer hours or seasonal work to how much their bodies can take. In this episode of Still Working, we talk with a minor league baseball playera dairy farmer, and a City of Pittsburgh lifeguard. Each of their workplaces carries a whiff of nostalgia: the glory of a summer ballgame, the steadfastness of the small American farmer, the sweet relief of the pool on a scorcher of a summer day. But they’re also challenging places to work.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Every morning, staggered by time zones and separated by continents, people around the world wake up and go to work. No two people are the same, and everyone experiences the world differently. Yet we all share one thing in common: we have to go to work.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

American pools traditionally follow the social arc of summer, opening Memorial Day Weekend and closing up shop at the end of Labor Day weekend.

Courtesy of the City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s city parks might be popular, but they’ve got a lot of spaces that could be livelier – think of that blank concrete pedestrian underpass in Schenley Park, or the featureless reservoir jetty in Highland Park.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Jayne Miller, the Former head of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, is joining the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy this week.

Miller will become only the second President and CEO in the history of the Pittsburgh nonprofit. She will succeed conservancy founder Meg Cheever, who will retire in March. Miller headed The Minneapolis Park System for seven years. For five of those years, it was ranked the No. 1 park system in the nation.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration announced Thursday it has finalized the acquisition of 660 acres of woodland to create a park in the southern Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hays.

The city's Urban Redevelopment Authority bought the “Hays Woods” property from Pittsburgh Development Group II for $5 million, a figure city leaders said is well below market value.

In a statement, Peduto called the sale of the property a "tremendous gift."

"It will preserve hundreds of acres of untouched urban forest for generations," Peduto said.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

After a real estate company's bid to redevelop a 1-square-mile swath of forest in the southern Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hays fell through in the early 2000s, the landowner has now decided to sell Hays Woods at a vastly discounted rate to the city for use as a public park.

Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority voted Thursday to pay $5 million to Pittsburgh Development Group II for the “whole bundle of sticks,” URA board chair Kevin Acklin said – including land ownership and mineral rights on a property once slated for strip mining and a racetrack and casino complex.

Tianming Chen / Flickr

Sixteen student conservationists will work as rangers in city parks this summer if Pittsburgh City Council votes to accept a $700,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation today.

Pittsburgh Parks Director Jim Griffin said members of the Student Conservation Association have volunteered at city parks for years, but now they could get paid for their work.

Mora McLaughlin / 90.5 WESA

Anyone who visits a Community Recreation and Healthy Active Living Center in Pittsburgh can meet with neighbors or grab a bite to eat. Now, they can also surf the internet with free Wi-Fi.

Citiparks and the Department of Innovation and Performance announced the installation of free Wi-Fi in 22 of its centers throughout the city.

The announcement was made at the Greenfield Healthy Active Living Center on Wednesday.

Melissa / Flickr

Starting Monday, children in Sheraden will be able to access free meals after school.

Pittsburgh CitiParks’ GrubUp program, which provides free meals to city schoolchildren, added its 11th location at the Sheraden senior community center and adjoining library on Sherwood Avenue.

City of Pittsburgh

The Great Race will sprint through lower Pittsburgh for its 38th year on Sunday, drawing thousands of runners and walkers from western Pennsylvania and abroad.  

City Pools Free For Kids This Summer

Jun 2, 2015

The city of Pittsburgh announced on Tuesday that all residents 15 and younger will be allowed to swim for free at Citiparks aquatic facilities, and those ages 6-15 will have access to free swimming lessons.

“We encourage parents to sign their kids up, to engage, to learn how to swim, because it's not just delivering kids to pools that guarantees a good time, it's providing a safe experience, a welcoming experience and the opportunity to develop skills that lead to lifelong fitness and health,” said Jim Griffin, director of the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. 

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Dog parks and basketball hoops bolstered Pittsburgh in the 4th annual rankings by The Trust for Public Land of the best park systems in American cities.

On a scale of 1 to 5, the city earned a 3.5 “park benches” rating — tying Anchorage, Lincoln, Raleigh and Virginia Beach for 24th in the ParkScore Index.  This is Pittsburgh’s first year in the rankings which expanded in 2015 from the nation's 60 largest cities to 75.

Jason Pratt / flickr

Despite the urban unrest that has garnered national headlines in recent weeks; many people are still choosing to live in cities as opposed to suburbs. What factors need to be in place for residents to co-exist, and even thrive, in a “happy city?” We’ll pose that question to Urban Experimentalist Charles Montgomery author of the book Happy City. Also taking part in the conversation is Pittsburgh Design Center CEO Chris Koch to fill us in on what can be done to make Pittsburgh a happier city.

Montgomery touches on the key factors in achieving a "happy city":

"The most important ingredient for human happiness is social connectedness, positive experiences with family and friends, and high levels of social trust. The happy city is most of all a social city." -Charles Montgomery

Also in the program, Pittsburgh and Citiparks present their new Spark! film series to engage Pittsburgh's cultural diversity. WESA Celebrates the history of Kennywood, and Rebecca Harris has the business of accommodations.