The City of Pittsburgh recently renovated its Four Mile Run Playground in Greenfield, aided by a $250,000 commitment from Carnegie Mellon University.
The project, the playground’s first full renovation since 2003, brings new equipment, safety surfaces, and other improvements like benches and trees to the site.
"Thanks to the hard work of the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works, and the funding and support of former Councilman (current County Controller) Corey O’Connor and Carnegie Mellon University, Four Mile Run’s new playground is now complete and open for business," said Pittsburgh District 5 Councilmember Barb Warwick. "Families in every neighborhood should be able to enjoy safe, accessible, modern playgrounds, and it’s wonderful that Four Mile Run has a new and improved space for play and community."
After the project was announced in 2021, Andrea Ketzel, senior project landscape architect, and Kara Smith, project manager, both of the Department of Public Works, kicked off a community engagement process , coordinating with stakeholders, surveying residents, and hosting community meetings to discuss and adjust the playground’s design.
Children living in the neighborhood even held their own "community meeting," drawing up detailed plans for the space.
The Rev. Mike Holohan, chairperson of CMU’s Council of Religious Advisors , lives with his family a few minutes walk from the playground.
"It was in pretty rough shape -- there were rusty, exposed edges on the equipment," said Holohan. "It’s great to have a safe place for the kids to go. The designers sought out input from the children, from the families. They considered our priorities for a play space. It gave my kids something to look forward to, knowing something was being designed that they really wanted."
Carnegie Mellon is no stranger in its surrounding communities; the playground project joins a number of partnerships CMU maintains throughout the Greenfield/Hazelwood area. Its Engineering Ambassadors Network provides high-quality engineering programming for teens at the Carnegie Library Hazelwood branch. The university also maintains a long-term partnership with Center of Life , and hosted their 2023 summer camp on campus - providing educational and recreational programming from CMU faculty and staff across fields such as design, robotics and human-computer interaction.
This year, Carnegie Mellon joined the Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative, a collective of organizations working for the betterment of greater Hazelwood. In October, the City of Pittsburgh recognized Carnegie Mellon for its contributions to the city and the region’s economy, ecosystem, workforce and the next generation of leaders.