Nestled among the trees in a section of south Park off Stone Manse Drive and Corrigan Road are the historical Stone Manse structures and the Cascades water feature. In their heyday, visitors flocked to this site for cool respite on a hot summer day. The Allegheny County Parks Foundation partnered with Allegheny County to restore the Cascades and to create a new attraction, the Paul Riis Meadow. A four-acre meadow was planted in 2019 on an adjacent hillside featuring a mix of twenty-five native grasses and perennial plants and flowers including Aster, Coneflower, Columbine, Spiderwort and Black-Eyed and Brown-Eyed Susans. In addition to their spectacular beauty, meadows provide ecological benefits, including bird and pollinator food sources and shelter, erosion control and storm water runoff management, making them increasingly popular as a sustainable gardening option.
In celebration of the many contributions of Paul Riis, the first Allegheny County Parks director and the visionary landscape architect who designed Stone Manse and the Cascades, Allegheny County Parks is developing the Paul Riis Memorial Trail that will allow visitors to meander through these sites. The popularity of the meadows led to the Wild Gardens Project of the Allegheny County Penn State Master Gardeners to create a pamphlet with helpful suggestions on making a home meadow.