County Parks

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land recently released its annual ranking of 100 city park systems in the country. This year, Pittsburgh's ranks 23rd -- a 16 place jump from last year.

The rankings are based on four primary factors: park access, meaning the amount of residents living within a ten-minute walk of a park; park acreage, the median size of city parks and total city area designated to parks; park amenities, such as restrooms, water features and dog parks; and park investment, meaning the amount of spending per resident on parks.

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Local organizations and agencies can start lining up Monday to make their pitch for grants from the Allegheny Regional Asset District, or RAD.

RAD annually awards tens of millions to support parks, libraries and cultural organizations.

When an out-of-state customer at County Councilman John Palmiere's Brentwood barbershop commented on the beauty of Allegheny County being covered in litter, he decided to go for a drive.

Palmiere said he quickly realized she was right.

“You see it all the time, and you don’t see it," he said. "So I just took a ride around one evening after she said that and she’s right. The place is just … we have so much debris and litter.”

South Park’s Fairgrounds Oval hasn’t been updated since it was the home of the Allegheny County Fair in the 1960s, but this Sunday the park will celebrate the results of a yearlong renovation project.

Before the restoration the park’s bleachers had dilapidated, the track was weathered, and there was not that much activity in the area. Now the bleachers have been removed, the area was landscaped, the track was repaved, and three baseball/softball fields that can be turned into a football field have taken over the middle of the oval.