trial under construction

Parks Foundation at Work

At the Parks Foundation, we’re always working to improve, conserve and restore the nine parks in Allegheny County. We contribute big-picture and long-term thinking, as well as fundraising efforts through our partnership with Allegheny County. By using the Allegheny County Parks Comprehensive Master Plan and other studies as our guide, we raise public and private funds from foundations, corporations, state and federal grant programs and individuals to design and implement projects in our parks. We commission and conduct surveys, plans and ecological assessments of our individual parks and park system which guide the strategic development of improvements in all nine county parks. All projects are undertaken in partnership with Allegheny County, with the county matching most private and non-county public funds raised by the Parks Foundation.


Park bench and sculpture projects


How do you create a sculpture garden? Very carefully. Twelve sculptures were gifted to Hartwood Acres Park in the 1980s, when it was envisioned as an art and culture park. A thirteenth sculpture was added years later. Now much-needed expert art restoration is underway and the Hartwood Acres Sculpture Garden is in progress, as the Parks Foundation partners with Allegheny County. When completed, it will include ADA-accessible walkways connecting the sculptures, new landscape plantings and reconfigured driveways and parking area, designed to “green” principles.

See the progress on our Facebook page.


South Park Cascades

Generations of South Park visitors get misty-eyed recalling childhood memories of spending summer days at this historic attraction. Built in 1927 using large, flat stones quarried on site, the waterfall and shallow pools of The Cascades were the vision of landscape architect Paul Riis, who also served as the first director of Allegheny County Parks. Ceremonial groundbreaking for this restoration took place in July, 2018, with completion expected in 2021.

Women lined up to donate at Suffragist Grove

Suffragist Grove at Hartwood Acres

Help the Allegheny County Parks Foundation plant a living tribute to the women who waged the valiant battle to secure the right for all women to vote and the women of today who are still fighting for the rights of women and all people. It is a fitting tribute to the local efforts of Mary Flinn Lawrence that the Suffragist Grove is situated at Hartwood Acres Park, her former home. The Parks Foundation is planting the grove in partnership with Allegheny County. A ceremonial tulip poplar tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) was planted at the site on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Suffragists were encouraged to plant trees as they healed from the trauma of imprisonment, celebrating the restorative powers of nature. Donations in any amount are welcome. Contributions of $250 or more will be recognized on signage at the Suffragist Grove in the final phase of the project.

park map

North Park Lake Trail

Improvement of the Ingomar Road section of the North Park Lake Trail, completed spring 2015, has increased safety and enhanced the trail experience for diverse users of this section of the trail located on the shoulder of a heavily traveled roadway. This project also included the construction of a path along the lake shore, anchored at the Babcock Boulevard and Ingomar Road “Gateway” with the restoration of the Babblebrook picnic shelter, and the addition of an accessible path for fishing and rain garden with native plantings. Allegheny County is currently making the improvements along the remaining section of the trail on Pearce Mill Road. This project will renovate and improve the final one and one-half miles of the North Park Lake Trail, including widening of the trail to increase usability and safety by better separating pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles, and providing updated trail marking and signage.

Settlers Cabin

Settlers Cabin Mine Pollution Clean-Up PLANNING

Since 2014, ACPF has partnered with Trout Unlimited to study the environmental impact of pollution coming from old coal mines in the park, mitigate its effects to restore water quality and encourage the return of fish to Pinkertons Run. Biological data gathered over the course of many months is providing an overview of organisms living in the stream and helping us to gauge the outcome of a potential pollution remediation strategy we will implement. In 2018, PA DEP made a Growing Greener Grant to ACPF to design and construct a passive treatment system for the worst discharge and design is underway. The grant will also fund streambank stabilization measures in Pinkertons Run.

park overview

South Park Green Parking Solution

ACPF received a Growing Greener Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to design a green parking lot to replace a paved parking lot at the South Park Fairgrounds Oval. This proposed parking area incorporates sustainable features, such as a minimal footprint, storm water management, innovative surface materials and native plants. A design and engineering consultant was selected in late 2018.


Click on an image to learn more.
Woman assesses water in creek at Allegheny County Parks

Ecological Assessments

Sheep in Animal Shelter Projects

Animal Shelters

Outdoor Classroom stone stairs at the Cascades

Outdoor Classroom at the Cascades

Flowers in a meadow


lots of trees planted along the bank of a stream

Riparian Plantings

Deer Lakes Park Cattail Drive Entrance Sign

Comprehensive Signage Guidelines

Thank you for visiting Deer Lakes Park

Signage Pilot Project Installation

Chimney Swift Habitat Towers

Chimney Swift Habitat Towers

Goats signage

Interpretive Signage

Canoes at the Park

Community Awareness and Park User Survey

Fairgrounds Oval Improvements

Fairgrounds Oval Improvements

Panhandle Connector Trail - Phase 1

Panhandle Connector Trail – Phase 1

Montour Connector Trail Bench

Montour Connector Trail

Settlers Cabin Waterfall

Settlers Cabin Waterfall Trail