Pittsburgh’s riverfront parks system is not only a haven for rest, relaxation and recreation but an economic powerhouse that has helped to generate billions of dollars in development over the past 15 years, a study has found.
In that time, the $130 million invested in the 13-mile Three Rivers Park has helped to produce nearly $4.1 billion in development on and near the riverfront, according to the study by Sasaki Associates, a Massachusetts-based architectural and planning firm.
In addition, the study, commissioned by Riverlife and to be released today, determined that since 2001, property values along that stretch have jumped by 60 percent compared with 32 percent in the rest of the city.
“The pattern in Pittsburgh and in other cities across the country is clear: properties with close proximity to high quality park infrastructure increase in value more than properties that do not,” the report stated.
A simple visit to this site and a click of your mouse could help your favorite Pottstown Area park win some serious loot. Your favorite recreation spot might be on this list. The rules are simple and you can vote daily. Plus it’s free! Sponsored by the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation.
Click here to vote: http://14-potahwf-0197.theandersongrp.com/
For example: if you enjoy all the activities in Memorial Park in Pottstown (like the Rumble), it’s on the list.
Jeff Houdret once enjoyed watching white-tailed deer roam Valley Forge National Historical Park.
But Houdret, whose Wayne home borders Valley Forge, has not seen a deer in at least a year.
“They’re all gone,” he said as he walked his two Yorkshire terriers through the park on Thursday afternoon.
With birth control not yet a viable option for combatting deer overpopulation, officials from Valley Forge said they would continue to employ sharpshooters next winter as part of their deer management plan.
Not everyone can live in Oakland, CA. But after the Movoto Real Estate Blog named it the Most Exciting City in America earlier this year, it seemed like everyone in the Bay Area was thinking about giving it a shot. For some people, though, big cities just aren’t their thing. They enjoy the lifestyle that comes with living in a smaller city–but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to have fun.
With that in mind, and given the fact that we’ve been looking more at small cities and suburbs lately, we decided it was time to look at excitement on a smaller scale. We set out to apply our mathematical methods to ranking the Most Exciting Small Cities in America–places that might be scaled down in size, but where people can still do some really big things.
What did we find? We’re sure the passionate citizens of New Jersey will be happy to learn that their very own Hoboken, NJ took the (flashing, noise-making, spinning) crown of excitement after our results had been tallied.
The birthplace of baseball–a sport whose degree of excitement varies depending on who you talk to–headed up a diverse top 10 of miniature metros.
For an evaluation of Mayor Chris Doherty’s 12 years in the top city job, listen to his chief critic.
“Overall, the mayor did a very good job. He had a vision for the city and, by and large, I think he fulfilled that vision,” city council President Janet Evans said.
This is the same Janet Evans who spent the better part of her 10 years as a councilwoman ripping Mr. Doherty for one shortcoming or another at weekly council meetings.
Not that Mrs. Evans is done criticizing. She still thinks Mr. Doherty borrowed too much money, should have negotiated contracts with the city’s police and firefighter unions instead of fighting a losing and costlier arbitration battle and needed, in his later years, more experienced cabinet members.
Need a quick getaway? May I suggest a stroll over to South Broad Street? Look for the opening in the crape myrtles, follow the juniper-lined path down to the grove, then take a seat in one of the vintage patio chairs, grab a beer, and settle in with a book. You might actually mistake the whoosh of city traffic for the lapping of waves.
It seems only right that an instant vacation should be held in an instant space.
The hideaway in question is the latest addition to Philadelphia’s growing collection of pop-up parks, an increasingly popular and low-cost way for cities to carve out green retreats amid the crowded hardscape desert. This one is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and, to be honest, it’s not really hidden. It’s right there across from the Kimmel Center, between Spruce and Pine Streets. It just feels as if it were a world away.
You could similarly indulge your escapist fantasies at the Porch, alongside 30th Street Station; at the University City District’s new Baltimore Avenue plaza; or at Eakins Oval. As of Thursday, the interior of that glorified traffic circle has been outfitted with Parisian-style cafe tables and christened, “The Oval.”
Formerly known as Pier 53, Washington Avenue Green is located at Washington Avenue, just south of the Coast Guard station and behind the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union Hall, 1301 South Columbus Boulevard. The one-acre site on the long-abandoned pier is one of the few tracts along the Delaware riverfront that is owned by the City of Philadelphia. It is the first of the public parks to be created by the Action Plan for the Central Delaware. Because there has been no commercial activity at that location for decades, the pier that originally had welcomed ships and freight carriers has deteriorated, and both native and non-native trees and plants took hold and flourished.
The rotted piers and eroded shoreline have become a nursery for migrating fish and a permanent home for several species of mussels.
This newly discovered habitat is being exploited and informs the park’s unique spirit. Delaware Avenue Green has been redesigned and reconstructed as a public space on the interim trail that is planned for the southern section of the Central Delaware.
Read more: http://washingtonavenuegreen.com/
It started when Brecknock Township suddenly found itself the owner of a mansion, secluded on a 47-acre wooded lot off Fitterling Road in the township.
A lawyer from Oregon, executrix of the will of a man they knew little about, Philip T. Buxton, called in 2011 to say Buxton had left the township the house and land to use for a park. The only stipulation was that it be named for him and his late wife, Jane.
That came as a surprise to township officials.
“We were very happy to be the recipients of it,” said Jeffrey M. Fiant, supervisors chairman.
A controlled hunt will be conducted in the next six months by the Park Service staff at Gettysburg Battlefield and the Eisenhower National Historic Site to thin the deer herd by about 150 animals. The population spiked recently to 80 animals per square mile. The goal is 25 animals per square mile.
The hunt will be conducted at night and in areas closed to the public. The venison will be donated to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg. A portion of that will return to Adams County. Last year 17,000 pounds of venison was donated to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
An overabundance in the deer population can prevent forest regeneration and stress the ecosystem. They cause damage to private property, farms, fields and can interfere with overall park management.
Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty is a man on a mission in 2011. His goal is to make improvements at two existing city parks and create a new pocket park. Doherty hopes to use Community Development Block Grants and a $50,000 state grant from the governor’s office, which was verbally committed to by Ed Rendell.
1700 Perry Avenue was formerly the site of a school and is now a vacant lot. Doherty thinks this site would be ideal for a pocket park. Scranton City Council eliminated funding for the proposed park from the 2011 budget. Undeterred, Doherty is seeking other funding as listed above and additional grants through Lowe’s, Home Depot and Kaboom. The mayor estimates he needs $75,000 to complete the North Scranton pocket park, which will feature a swing set, playground area and bike path which will also include a small BMX trick park. This vacant lot is a blighted property. Creating the park will clean up blight, add more recreation and improve property values in the neighborhood.
The Clover Field Park is next on the agenda. The Mayor hopes to add a playground area to a section of the park. The playground area would serve neighborhood children and the children who take part in the West Side Jets junior football program. The West Side Jets use the park as their home base. The cost for these improvements will be $135,000 and funded through the Community Development Block Grant program.
The third project will impact the Novembrino swim complex, 10th Avenue, also on Scranton’s West Side. The deep water pool is going to be eliminated and a splash park added in its place. Adding a splash park eliminates the need for lifeguards and cuts down on the city’s water bill. The splash park is expected to cost $183,000. The city is looking at their pools, which are all around 40 years old.
Doherty said “We have an obligation to reinvest in neighborhoods, stabilize them and maintain property values.” Mr. Mayor, we could not agree more!
The next town in my series of redevelopment success stories in Quakertown, PA. Pottstown area residents are all familiar with Quakertown. We even share Route 663.
Quakertown has benefited over the years, to some degree, by their proximity to the big cities in the Lehigh Valley. They are part of suburbia on heavily traveled Route 309. What many people think of when they get a visual of Quakertown is the “Big Box” sprawl on 309. However, there is more to Quakertown.
Quakertown Borough is 2.0 square miles and contained 8,931 residents according to the 2000 census. A 2009 estimate put the population of the borough at 8,672. The estimated median income for Quakertown in 2008 was $53,340. The 2008 estimated per capita income was $27,000. The City-data crime index for Quakertown in 2009 was 258.0, which is considered low.
This all sounds rather idyllic. Why not roll with it? However, the status quo was not good enough for Quakertown officials who felt they needed to get people excited about their downtown and what it has to offer. Honestly, I never thought there was much more to Quakertown than Route 309, if the truth be told. So now I am excited too!
Quakertown has come up with the all important “tag line” which is “Explore The Possibilities”. Kind of peeks your interest further, doesn’t it! I enjoy exploring! Now I feel the urge to drive up to Quakertown and venture into their downtown to “explore” the possibilities! Local officials want to make Quakertown a destination. To that end, they hired Delta Development Group of Mechanicsburg, PA to help lead them to the promised land of redevelopment. In addition, Quakertown has hired Marketing Solutions of Quakertown to help them identify and market their borough.
The $64,000 question: What kind of destination does Quakertown want to be? The winning answer is recreation, culture, shopping and dining. To that end a logo was carefully crafted incorporating these elements. Because Quakertown is strategically located on the edge of the Lehigh and Delaware valleys, they are marketing themselves in both areas.
Quakertown was once a manufacturing and commercial center. With the decline of industry, Quakertown is now a bedroom community and regional shopping destination. Quakertown has decided to work with the assets they have and improve upon them. Instead of crying over what once was, they are embracing what is.
Click here to check out the Quakertown development organization’s website – Quakertown Alive! http://www.quakertownalive.com/
Hat tip to readers Katy and Andrew for bringing this story to my attention!
Demographic data from Wikipedia and City-data.com