Sheraden Park is unique in its location and topography — a hidden 51.2-acre community park, with both traditional and recreational amenities as well as natural areas that dominate the landscape. Located in the neighborhood of Sheraden, in West Pittsburgh, and bordered by Esplen, Chartiers City, Windgap, Crafton Heights, and Elliott neighborhoods, the park has chronically been underused and suffers from disinvestment. The park facilities are located in the lowlands between two hillsides. Surban Street runs through the central lowland, dead-ending in the park and providing access to two ball fields, sports courts, and a playground. It is a large park with the potential to serve many more park patrons than it currently does. Additionally, it is anticipated that this master planning effort will generate recommendations for expanding Sheraden Park to include a series of public parcels connecting to nearby McGonigle Park and Tuxedo Street Skate Park, as well as possible land acquisition for the purpose of providing public waterfront access to Chartiers Creek.
Sheraden Park was originally part of William Sheraden’s farm. The 23-acre greenspace was set aside for public use by the City of Pittsburgh on January 24, 1914, several years after Sheraden was annexed as part of the city. The park cost $14,500, and park amenities — which included a public swimming pool, playground, and open spaces — were accessible via the 31 or 32 trollies. Since then, additional parcels have been added to the park, completing its' now 52 acres.
For more information about Sheraden Park’s history, see the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy website.
There are no adopted community plans for the neighborhood or the park. However, recent planning efforts for the area include West Pittsburgh Community Action Plan (2010) and the West Busway Transit-Oriented Development Assessment and Plan (2010).
There are several plans that are potentially relevant to this project, including but not limited to:
- Open Space PGH, (2013) the City’s plan for its open spaces, including greenways
- Natural Areas Study, (2010) a study for the regional parks
- PWSA City-Wide Green First Plan (2016)
Other priorities and issues to be addressed by the Sheraden Park Master Plan might include:
- Environmental restoration — manage invasive species and restoration throughout the park
- Neighborhood support — engage surrounding neighborhoods through innovative community outreach techniques
- Programming — develop robust programming for the park that will serve the immediate neighborhoods as well as the entire City park system, explore revenue generation programming
- Recreation — explore innovative and unique facilities to create destinations as well as account for surrounding assets/facilities in the West Pittsburgh region
- Stormwater management — manage stormwater from surrounding drainage area and incorporate recent stream daylighting and aquatic restoration project into Master Plan
- Illegal activities — plan to address issues with all-terrain vehicles, vandalism, hunting, dumping, and general safety concerns