WPC's PARK(ing) Day Event Transforms Downtown Parking Spaces into Park

Thu, Sep 16th 2010, 09:45. Filed under News Releases.

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Sept. 16, 2010 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) and its partners will transform part of a downtown Pittsburgh parking lot into a public park for one day on Sept. 17 as it participates in PARK(ing) Day, a global event that turns parking spaces into mini parks. The PARK(ing) Day event will be carried out in partnership with Direct Energy, a primary sponsor for WPC’s urban greening work, as well as the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Beginning early in the morning on Sept. 17, the Conservancy and 80 volunteers from Direct Energy will create a parklet – complete with grass, benches, trees and flowers – at the Cultural Trust parking lot on Penn Ave. and 8th Street. The parklet will be finished and ready for visitors by mid-morning and will remain in place until approximately 5 p.m.

At the event, the Conservancy will distribute information about volunteer opportunities and the benefits of community greening. The parklet itself will provide a snapshot of the many types of urban greening that WPC brings to communities in Western Pennsylvania: community flower gardens, hanging flower baskets, trees, quiet green spaces for schools, perimeter greening for parking lots, and support for community food gardens.

Also at the event, Direct Energy will distribute energy conservation tips that homeowners can easily implement to reduce energy consumption as the cold weather hits.

“PARK(ing) Day presents a great opportunity to visualize the powerful impact that a small amount of greening can have in even our densest and most urban settings,” said Judy Wagner, the Conservancy’s senior director, community gardens and greenspace. “Hardscape can be enlivened with living plants, stormwater can be captured, pollution can be reduced, heat can be dissipated and, above all, the transformative effect of green plants on our health and well-being can be felt in-person. In this event, we have a moment to imagine the difference that creative greening and the design of living landscapes can offer in the livability of our cities and towns.”

Also on PARK(ing) Day, the Conservancy and Direct Energy volunteers will plant mums and other glorious fall foliage in large planters along Penn Avenue and at the 10th Street entrance of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

PARK(ing) Day originated in San Francisco in 2005 and is now an annual, international event in which participants transform space intended for vehicles into shared, public spaces. The event is intended to inspire fresh thinking about public spaces and how they are used.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s participation in PARK(ing) day aims to raise awareness about numerous opportunities, year-round, to create green spaces that improve the quality of life in our region. The Conservancy invites the public to join its 10,000 volunteers in making a difference: Plant or maintain one of WPC’s 140 community gardens located in 20 counties; plant trees or register a newly planted tree with TreeVitalize Pittsburgh; or support healthier learning environments through the School Grounds Greening Initiative, among other opportunities. To learn more, visit the Community Gardens and Greenspaces section of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s website: WaterLandLife.org/243, or contact Volunteer Coordinator Lynn McGuire-Olzak at (412) 586-2324 or lolzak@paconserve.org.



About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC established six state parks and has conserved more than 228,000 acres of natural lands and waterways. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Mill Run, Pa. that symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 140 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 10,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.

About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is North America’s largest provider of heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading competitive energy provider with over six million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit www.directenergy.com.


Media contact:
Stephanie Kraynick
Director of Communications
(412) 586-2358

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code, and 100% of your donation is tax-deductable as allowed by law.