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What’s next? Parks and Recreation Study update

Families sitting on the ground and kids playing in the park

Mt. Lebanon’s parks master plan and recreation center feasibility study is in its final phase. The yearlong study was headed by Assistant Manager/Planner Ian McMeans, who worked with Carolyn Yagle of Environmental Planning and Design (EPD), the consulting firm hired to perform the study.

Residents weighed in on interest in a recreation facility, and changes they would like to see in the parks. Based on that input, EPD grouped the recommendations for the parks system into six categories: community, safety, identity, efficiency, amenity and connectivity.

Community Diversify programming to increase inclusivity. Consider adding more evening and weekend activities, expanding the department’s online presence, offering more educational programs and increasing the scale of the most popular programs.

Safety Soft-fall surfaces around play areas, plans for stormwater management, wildlife management, improved trail maintenance, clearly marked park boundaries and replacing old fencing. Residents also suggested an online portal for reporting safety and maintenance concerns, which could be added to the municipality’s MyLebo portal [1].

Identity Create communitywide signage; implement systemwide wayfinding features and provide navigational guides throughout the community.

Efficiency Unify communications strategies with youth sports organizations and with the Mt. Lebanon School District; make it easier for volunteers to get involved; standardize amenities across all parks; add checkpoints for routine maintenance.

Amenity Update field surfaces; improve golf course amenities; permanent restroom facilities in all parks; shade structures and splash pads and, something that has come up several times in the past: Consider building a dog park.

Connectivity Add bike parking and repair stations; improve trail connections; improve sidewalks, curb cuts and parking, as needed.

Ideas for a new recreation facility centered around three possible locations: Renovating the existing facility in Mt. Lebanon Park; an uptown location, most likely the South Parking Garage; or building a new structure in McNeilly Park.

The Commission will discuss the final recommendations and decide what the next steps will be. Look for more information in subsequent issues of Mt. Lebanon Magazine.