Has nature ever astonished you?
If you were among the thousands who experienced the Indian Hill Meadow at Boyce Park this summer the explosion of yellow and gold flowers that seemingly popped up overnight was enough to take your breath away.

Those Black- and Brown-eyed Susans didn’t magically appear. Their roots trace back to important partnerships with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, who suggested planting a meadow, and PNC Foundation and the Allegheny County Conservation District who provided funding and Allegheny County Parks, who prepared the site and planted the seeds.

Meadows are indisputably beneficial to the environment. They require less maintenance than a lawn. They attract valuable pollinators, birds and wildlife that feed and rest among the plants. And meadows are a sustainable solution to the loss of native vegetation and wildlife habitats. On top of all that, they are beautiful and provide colorful picnic spots!
You’ve told us that preserving nature is important to you and with your support we are just getting started!   

Thanks to supporters like you we planted a second meadow at The Cascades at South Park. Now we are looking for sites in Hartwood Acres Park and Settlers Cabin Park. With your contribution one day you might be able to take a “Tour de Meadows” and visit one in each of Allegheny County’s nine parks!

It takes many people like you to bring these beautiful meadow spaces to life. The Allegheny County Parks Foundation and Allegheny County Parks counts on you to DREAM BIG and help provide the resources to make these dreams a reality. Even if you never visit a meadow, we know you value your parks for year-round recreation and relaxation, the peaceful green space and the fun events. Help make meadow magic happen – join us today! 

Click HERE to donate to GIVE BIG PITTSBURGH on NOV. 27! As a special incentive, all FIRST-TIME donations will be matched! DOUBLE your support by donating on NOV. 27 or by donating TODAY HERE!
Every donation - no matter how large or small - helps fund our projects. Thank you!
November news & updates
Donor Spotlight: Carolyn Savikas
Mention South Park’s Cascades at Stone Manse to Carolyn Savikas and she’s transported back to the cool, shallow pools where she splashed as a young girl. “We would go for the whole day. My mom would pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and she would sit on the picnic benches with my aunt. We wouldn’t go home till dinner,” she recalls fondly. 
Those days spent at the Cascades spurred lifelong memories for Savikas, who grew up in Mt. Oliver, then Baldwin and now lives in South Park Township with her husband, Jack Fishell. “The exciting part was running through the three shallow pools and standing under the waterfalls,” she said, remembering the cool water refreshing her on hot summer days.
Built in 1927, the Cascades water feature was created using stratified rock quarried from South Park. Designed by landscape architect Paul Riis, this recreational destination of waterfalls and wading pools became a summertime destination for families seeking respite from the heat of the city. The site, located off Corrigan Drive near the Kilmer Circle, was closed in the 1970s due to water filtration issues. Swimmers then had the option of using the always popular Wave Pool.
Vegetation eventually filled in the Cascades site, leaving just the outline of the original stonework visible. The industrious Paul Riis Legacy Preservation Volunteers have spent many hours clearing the Cascades to reveal the long-buried features.
As a frequent volunteer in South Park on other projects, the sight of the long-closed Cascades got the wheels in Savinkas’ head turning. Drawing on her fond memories, she knew its rustic charm and cool waters would be an attractive destination for today's young families. She accepted the invitation to join the Friends of South Park council group with the hopes of focusing her efforts on renovating the Cascades. Coincidentally, that project was already in the works. A plan for restoring the Cascades was announced this summer!
Allegheny County, along with the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation’s Operation Restore, Citrone Thirty/Three Foundation and the PA Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources are partnering to restore the Cascades to its historical grandeur and update it with full accessibility for all and advanced water treatment systems.
As soon as Savikas and her husband learned about the renovation, they made a generous donation to turn it into a reality. Plans to begin construction next year are contingent on raising funding.
It’s not unusual for Savikas to give back. Savikas is a regular volunteer, even cheerfully planting trees with the Allegheny County Parks Foundation last spring on Sunny Slopes in brutally cold wind and snow. “It’s fun! I’ve signed up for the November planting!” she said, undaunted. For 15 years she and a friend took care of the community garden at the triangle at Brownsville and Maple Springs. As an avid gardener, she has volunteered many hours at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
Her affection for South Park includes many memories, from attending the county fairs with her dad, visiting the China Wall in her teenage years to cross country skiing on the golf course and visiting the ducks and buffalo with her then-young children, Darren and Robin. They enjoyed family picnics and reunions and when her grandchildren were younger, she repeated all those activities with them.
We are very grateful for the support Savikas sends to the Allegheny County Parks Foundation in her unique ways! If she has inspired YOU, visit HERE to learn more about the Cascades project and make your own donation to this exiting project!
"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." Native American saying
We never know what the weather will bring when we set out to plant trees in our parks and our two planting sessions in South Park brought a weather cornucopia! Overcast then sunny and humid for our first planting on Oct. 3. Then freezing and windy for our Oct. 25 session. Through it all, our volunteers forged ahead.
Both plantings were made possible by the Pittsburgh Foundation's Peaceable Kingdom Fund and targeted ecological challenges near the ice rink. In an area to the left of the rink, 500 trees were planted to restore native plant communities and create a healthy habitat for birds and small animals. Eventually, these small trees will mature and their shade will choke out invasives that are now attracted to this sunny spot. Thanks to the Allegheny County Rangers, staffers from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and South Park volunteers for helping us!
The second planting brought out Gateway Middle School students and took place on the banks of Catfish Run to the right of the rink. They planted 675 trees and perennials - all before lunch! Thanks to Gateway teachers Amy Baer, Chris Grainer and Joe Field who made this activity an important part of their curriculum.
Both plantings are called "riparian" which means stream side, and helps stabilize the bank, improve the water quality and be more inviting to fish. These plants will also improve the wildlife habitat for birds and small animals.
A third planting in South Park of large trees took place on Nov. 7. If you'd like to join in the fun next spring, or know of a group that would like to help, contact Barb Brewton at bbrewton@acparksfoundation.org .
Thanks to an AWESOME crew from Elizabeth Forward Middle School for helping with our tree planting in Boyce Park on Oct. 9. The students dug holes and planted 650 native trees on two hillsides off Centerview Drive. Species included Paw Paw, Devil's Walking Stick, Tulip Poplar, Cucumber Magnolia, Black Cherry, Sassafras and White Pine, among others.
When mature, these plantings will enlarge the already established forest area, reducing the need for mowing and the burning of fossil fuels, while increasing the habitat for wildlife.
The teachers who accompanied them were Amy Duschek, Scott Newmeyer and Rachel Pileggi.
Assisting the students and the Allegheny County Parks Foundation staff were Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Chief of Staff Jennifer Liptak, County Manager Willy McKain, Allegheny County Rangers and staff from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
ACParks Foundation visits Comcast!
Caren Glotfelty, executive director of the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, stopped by the Comcast studios recently to chat about what makes our park system so special and what the Allegheny County Parks Foundation is doing to improve it. Click HERE to watch the clip!
Roof Tile Mementos Benefit ACPF
Looking for a hostess gift? Or maybe an early holiday gift? Consider giving the gift of history!
Select a repurposed tile from the Allegheny County Courthouse roof renovation. Three popular examples are featured below. Check the website HERE for more options and to place your orders.
All proceeds benefit the Allegheny County Parks Foundation!
Former ACPF Board Member Sally Foster was recently honored as a WINNER in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's annual garden contest in the small garden category.
She has a green thumb and a golden heart when it comes to the natural world and we are grateful for the many years that her skills and expertise have benefited us.
Congratulations, Sally!
Read about her garden HERE!
The magic happens on
Allegheny County Parks Foundation | 724-327-7627 | info@acparksfoundation.org | acparksfoundation.org