Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Treehouse Issue Draws Large, Mixed Response


The Regent Square Civic Association hosted a community meeting and a presentation by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy on the topic of building outdoor learning spaces in Frick Park, most notable of which being a proposed "treehouse" in a section called Turtle Park that would honor the memory of Kate and Peter Ambrusko, and be part of the new Environmental Charter School.

Over a hundred people attended. City Council member Doug Shields, arriving only about 5 minutes late, had to stand against the wall of the large high-ceilinged school basement along with many, many others. About half of the assembled audience was wearing green, to signal support of the project. Half were not.

Marijke Hecht from the Conservancy led with a slide-show presentation (part 1, part 2) which emphasized several assertions in particular:

1) This is NOT GOING TO BE A PLAYGROUND -- feh, we have those! -- this is going to be a space which "creatively reimagines the concept of a tree house." Several widely divergent design concepts were shown.

2) It is VERY VERY EARLY in the process. There are about 12 steps in developing any such project, and we are still in steps one and two. This included issuing an RFP seeking out bottom-line costs.

3) It is going to be AWESOME, in that it will be an interactive learning place for small children, a "secret" space to poke around and be cozy; and sort of an inviting entryway for young ones from their dang video games to untrammeled nature.


It was also noted that the site at Turtle Park was one of several "dots" on a map which the Conservancy had long slated (since about 2004) for these outdoor learning space projects around Frick Park.

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Next came the audience participation. Staff from the city's Planning Department were on hand to record all public comments. About 30 people chose to speak, and these speakers were also very evenly divided between Pro-Treehouse and Pro-Serenity advocates. Speakers were passionate but courteous to a fault -- and when they did reproach the opposition, they all did so in the circumspect and subtle manner that is so appropriate to these meetings.

Many Pro-Serenity advocates sought to clarify at the outset that nobody is against tree houses, and nobody is against memorials!! What concerned them for the most part was increased traffic through what they consider to be a tight little corner of Regent Square, up against Frick Park. They were also wary of increased pressure on parking in that area. One of them wondered how something like a school bus is even supposed to fit.

To a lesser extent, there were concerns about keeping Frick Park as filled with real nature as possible, rather than junking it up with little faux-nature developments. Some pointed out there is already a war memorial in that same clearing. One explicitly cited noise concerns, having purchased a home in that neighborhood because of its quiet. Only one warned ominously that "this park is going to be open 24/7" and "you know what that attracts".

I filmed the comments only of two friends of mine, one on either side of the question. Here is Matt Weiss:




And here is Madeline Hershey:




The event was like a very civil, methodical boxing match. Pro-Serenity advocates seemed to front-load their lineup with their most compelling speakers in front, while the Pro-Treehouse advocates led with youth and youthful idealism, then turned it on with debate-scoring points in the latter half.

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Barbara Danko spoke to oppose the project on the grounds that it represents ever-more ravenous expansion of the Enviro-Charter School, and she further suggested that this one RFP went out for this one project in a curious fashion. This is noteworthy for two reasons.

Number one, the expansion of the school and its methods of facilitating that expansion is already a roiling sub-plot in that community. A different resident positively grilled the conservancy's Hecht about when exactly those dots on the map came to exist, the timeline concerning the issuance of the RFP, and conflicts-of-interest which had seemingly existed in the past among board members of both the Conservancy and the Charter School itself.

Number two, Danko is a Democratic party committee member, and its chairperson of the city's 14th Ward to boot. It is her role to advocate for the wishes of her community to local politicians, and to recommend politicians at election-time to her neighbors in return. Councilman Shields would not ordinarily be in the habit of doing anything which his ally Barbara Danko opposes -- and the City is not generally in the habit of pursuing projects which conflict with the wishes of the Council member in whose district a project would take place.

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Along with the Charter-School expansion subplot, another subplot that came into focus was simply the unpleasant side of "change". Many residents bemoaned what has happened to Braddock Avenue since the parkway ramps and Edgewood Town Center came into being -- citing several recent pedestrian traffic deaths. Others looked ahead to the draw of major development activity planned in East Liberty with increasing apprehension.

Several of these residents, including the president of the neighborhood association, acknowledged that compared to these larger forces the tree house would be a drop in the bucket. (The president did mention that eliminating parking along Braddock Ave might help, although I can't imagine this would please the business district.) A picture began to emerge to me that this treehouse is one thing which the community can control and it's not going to pass on an opportunity to make a difference.

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Many in the pro-treehouse crowd made compelling presentations as well. One young gentleman testified that his dad's (or was it grandad's) name is on the war memorial at Turtle Park, that he climbed on the Turtle at its old location at Forbes and Braddock whereas now his daughter climbs on it at its new location, and that he fully supports the project.

One speaker from the North Side -- a fan of That's Church -- said that he enjoys his Riverview Park, but also more recently has had to deal with PNC Park and so "doesn't want to hear it" in terms of this relatively teeny development project causing a bit of traffic and noise.

Most pro-treehouse speakers absolutely focused on the critical importance of environmental education, on the uniqueness and public benefit of the vision for this project -- and then on the notion that the generosity of the Ambrusko family in terms of fund-raising and visioning, followed by the Conservancy in terms of pursuing it, is a gift to Pittsburgh not to be looked horse in the mouth. No pro-serenity speakers held objections to any of that, but still were not enthused about it manifesting in their "back yard".

The Parks Conservancy maintains that this project is still in the very early stages -- so taken together with the controversy, my guess is the fate of this learning area will take at least 3-4 months to be revealed.

48 comments:

  1. Bram, your frame is out of whack.

    The real issue is not pro-treehouse vs. pro-serenity. Rather, it's whether the site next to the environmental school is an appropriate place for the memorial whatever-it-is. From that perspective, the large majority of speakers, most of whom were, appropriately, residents of the immediate Regent Square neighborhood, said they were were not opposed to having a memorial tree house somewhere in the park, just not in an already congested location.

    BTW, about 250K children die every year around the world in vehicle accidents. That's a lot of treehouses.

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  2. most of whom were, appropriately, residents of the immediate Regent Square neighborhood

    The idea that a public park is a resource owned by people living near it is patently absurd. I mean, if nobody who didn't live in Squirrel Hill would drive down Murray Avenue, my commute would be easier, but that's the kind of thing I mutter to myself not say out loud at meetings.

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  3. PFP: You had to go for the stab at the heart in your last paragraph, didn't you? Somehow it wasn't enough to re-frame the discussion in terms of location...it had to end on a shot at the magnanimous efforts of a grieving mother. So much for the civil discourse that Bram described.In keeping with your approach- remember, karma's a bitch.

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  4. "BTW, about 250K children die every year around the world in vehicle accidents. That's a lot of treehouses."

    Wow. Just... wow.

    I hope you incur the wrath of Pittgirl.

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  5. Beware the Do GoodersJune 8, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    Oy! So much misinformation and clever twists in this post.

    Anyway, a couple of points: the proposal regarding parking on Braddock is actually aimed at moving the cars a bit "inland", moving the sidewalk along the ballfields near Forbes so that cars don't have to be parked on the street in that area. Such a change increase safety and have no impact on businesses, since parking would still be available.

    The Parks Conservancy noted that it took 10 years to plan and build a memorial garden in Mellon Park, named for the deceased child of a very rich Pittsburgher. So my guess is it will take years to determine the fate of this treehouse. The process can drag on, as you know.

    The Parks Conservancy plan actually identified 13 locations in the park for proposed learning stations. That's a few more, I think, than the "several" that you asserted.

    Barb Danko lives the neighborhood, a few blocks from the location in question. So she had a legitimate reason to be there. She did not mention her political position during her remarks. Doug Shields is running for district judge next May, not council, and the DJ district does not include Regent Square, so he really won't have much influence on Frick's development. But it is interesting that you've identified some of the players and their possible clout. Interestingly, you left out Pro-Treehouse mouthpiece Marijke Hecht's background, motivations, connections, etc., which, fortunately, was exposed at the meeting. Her impassioned presentation and sixth-grade teacher earnestness, along with the Parks Conservancy's extensive slideshow and foundation-speak smoke screen, brought these sage words of warning to mind:

    Beware the Do Gooders.

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  6. PFP - That comment was straight up ignorant. But of course, also veiled in anonymity.

    This isn't about memorializing every child who has tragically lost his/her life. It's about a mother who wants to commemorate the lives of her children by giving back to her community in a meaningful way. This same woman has taken that burden upon herself and has initiated and fund-raised for this project. Sadly, it's that very community that is standing in her way.

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  7. Is this a dogs vs. kids thing? In my experience, at the other end of Frick, the heavy park users are people with kids and people with dogs. And the people with dogs don't like anyone complaining about Fido not having a leash or maybe not taking a crap right there where the kids are running.

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  8. "The community" is not opposing the memorial, just the location. Judging by comments last night, "the community" by and large would welcome the memorial in another location, and a number of speakers last night suggested building it on the location of the burned out Frick Environmental Center.

    Bram - Why is it not OK for residents of Regent Square to argue against siting a playground in a public park near their homes, but it is OK for a woman and her supporters to insist that a playground be built at a specific location in a public park, and then to demonize people who disagree with them?

    Fortunately, as last night's meeting showed, many cool heads and a thorough process will be the ultimate arbiter in this matter.

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  9. Sorry Bram. I should have addressed that "double standard" question to MH.

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  10. @P-FP: I struggled mightily with how to refer to the two sides. In the end I settled on a tongue-in-cheek nod in the direction of the abortion debate -- its importance being that both sides seek positive outcomes and are not "against" what the other side happens to be "for". To the extent that these definitions are important, and to the extent that site-appropriateness and avoiding further congestion is a subset of serenity, I have no choice but to overrule your objection.

    BTW offhand, to respond to your other point, I'd say if 250,000 routinely tragic motor-vehicle deaths somehow resulted in 250,000 long-range, long-term initiatives geared toward benefiting children and the world at large -- I'd be fine with that, though we're not typically that fortunate.

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  11. Judging by comments last night, "the community" by and large would welcome the memorial in another location, and a number of speakers last night suggested building it on the location of the burned out Frick Environmental Center.

    In other words, "the community" would welcome any memorial built in a different community.

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  12. Sticks and StonesJune 8, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    "I hope you incur the wrath of Pittgirl."

    What's she going to do, write a nasty blog post then show up at a public meeting but avoid engaging face-to-face with anybody or taking responsibility for her words and actions?

    Ohhhhhh, I'm scared!

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  13. You know, using the same name in a single comment thread makes a conversation much easier.

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  14. @Double-Standard: "Bram - Why is it not OK for residents of Regent Square to argue against siting a playground in a public park near their homes, but it is OK for a woman and her supporters to insist that a playground be built at a specific location in a public park, and then to demonize people who disagree with them?"

    It's OK. It's great! And FYI I was no great fan of the 'demonization' as it became overwrought.

    @Beware - Wow, years not months. Interesting. I didn't mean to and didn't think I suggested Danko had a questionable right to be there. I tried to stay away from that sort of stuff entirely. I'll caution that whatever Shields' particular political situation or anybody else's, Danko is going to remain influential. I also touched on the controversy regarding Hecht from the Conservancy though I did not know her name at post time. She's the one in the video, right, running point on the slide-show?

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  15. Let's compromiseJune 8, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    "In other words, "the community" would welcome any memorial built in a different community."

    And the mother and her supporters won't consider any other location than the one they've deemed appropriate.

    Or will they?

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  16. Or will they?

    How should I know? I've never met any of them or see anything about them except on blogs and the paper.

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. Commenters should be aware that I often police for language. No swearing in my backyard! Sara, you are welcome to restate your comment.

    Oh, and it's "not" a playground.

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  19. Actually, as friend of Amy's I don't think there has been a "deemed appropriate" location - isn't that why we had the meeting. The initial thought for that location occured because Kate attended ECS. Amy would just like something to honor her kids for the amazing people they were. If another location is the way to do that then I feel very confident that is the way she will go. What I took away from last night's meeting was 1. Traffic is a nightmare on Braddock and the residents, rightly so, don't want anymore. 2. They really don't like having ECS in their neighborhood. Did they fight the charter like they are fighting this? 3. Some residents think there is a conspiracy involving ECS and the Conservancy. If there is, Amy is not a part of it nor would she even allow such a thing if aware of it.4. The residents seem to think the park belongs to only them - so I can assume that they don't use the B;ue Slide since that is in Sq. Hill and they are not Sq. Hill residents.

    Enough, I could go on forever.

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  20. Ah yes, right. Not a playground. Okay then, people who oppose creative play space/treehouses are lame. Plain and simple. I just really am astounded by people who take the time to rain on this particular parade when there's like, um, real stuff that's broken in the world to basically state the equivalent of:
    Get off my lawn!

    If that's the worst thing in your apparently charmed life then you have a whole lot to be thankful for.

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  21. "BTW offhand, to respond to your other point, I'd say if 250,000 routinely tragic motor-vehicle deaths somehow resulted in 250,000 long-range, long-term initiatives geared toward benefiting children and the world at large -- I'd be fine with that, though we're not typically that fortunate."

    I so do wish that that could really happen. While it's a tragedy for a child to lose their life, why can't something positive come out of it? I support the tree house. I don't care where the location is, as long as there is a tree house. For a grieving mother, yes, but for the betterment of other kids' lives, too. Think big, here!

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  22. 'Oh, and it's "not" a playground.'


    It's also most definitely not a treehouse, but that's not stopping nearly everyone referring to it as 'a treehouse' or 'the treehouse' which manages to create heat instead of light.

    I realize that is what the grieving mother calls it (and that's her prerogative), but it in no way helps the debate.

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  23. The people of Regent Square need to be enlightened, so here goes:

    You live in the city.

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  24. So no one in the city can complain about anything going on in the city. I think Bram must now re-shut down his blog.

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  25. Pro-Frick Park said...
    BTW, about 250K children die every year around the world in vehicle accidents. That's a lot of treehouses.

    that is truly about the meanest thing I could imagine anyone saying. Really. Unimaginable.

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  26. Bojack here!

    I am the guy who said I don't want to hear their horsesh** about a treehouse jacking up the parking!

    That is pure BS covering up the most blatant NIMBYism I have heard in a long time, over an effing TREEHOUSE!

    That isn't Regent Square Park!

    Get over it, get used to it, or MOVE!

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  27. "...over an effing TREEHOUSE!"

    See, this is exactly the problem.

    It's not a treehouse or even an "effing treehouse."

    Here's what it is from the RFP:

    "[A] new children’s outdoor learning and activity space...the first of 13 outdoor learning spaces to be developed in Frick Park...part of the environmental learning campus to be used by educators from the Environmental Center at Frick Park, as well as school groups and community members...Ultimately, the Environmental Center campus will include a new state of the art building near Beechwood Boulevard that will include indoor and outdoor classrooms. The Center will offer expanded urban environmental education programming for school groups, campers, and families, and will be the hub for the Parks Conservancy’s volunteer activities and community outreach programs."

    Can we PLEASE stop calling it a treehouse? All that does is junk up any real debate.

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  28. From the RFP:

    The selected design team will be encouraged to creatively interpret the notion of a tree house through innovative art and design ideas.

    That's why people keep calling it a tree house. In other shocking news, Regents Square is not a quadrilateral with sides of equal length and Frick Park wasn't named by somebody trying to avoid swearing.

    Also, if the main building is already going in the park of Frick by Beechwood, then putting the "tree house" in the same place would be kind of redundant.

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  29. I can't believe that someone would be so insensitive to write that the death of a child is akin to something routine. Speaking as a cousin of those children's parents I am fairly appalled. It breaks my heart each and every time I think about them, see a picture or just something in life that is a reminder.
    I understand that there is a larger issue here and people are welcome to share their feelings and opinions. I would hope that you all just remember that these children were and are loved. All that we are trying to do is make something in their honor to share with others so that they can share in the joy that we had with them.

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  30. @Maria: With respect, although it's not properly a tree house (imagine the accessibility issues much less the liability issues, oy!) it is an attraction for children to come learn and play in some numbers. I think those are sufficient conditions to bring about this dispute no matter what. We could make it a pirate-themed learning environment and call it the "Pirate Ship" but I don't think that'd make things any worse or better. There are less communication problems to blame for this than people seem determined to believe. This is what happens when you propose to build things -- sometimes the builders are more correct, sometimes those who dissent, hopefully always with help from wise leaders the two can reach an agreement.

    @Amanda: If you're referring to my comment above I certainly didn't mean the word "routine" in the, uh, routine definition of the word, my apologies.

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  31. Bram,

    With all due respect, as is obvious from some comments here and elsewhere, some do think that the "treehouse" is merely a tree house which does not in any way contribute to a meaningful discussion of the issue (because, after all, who could object to a lil' ol' tree house).

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  32. Oy, such vitriol!

    One of the things I found so satisfying about the meeting was that most put forth their opinions responsibly and respectfully, regardless of their passion on the subject.

    I request that folks who comment here refrain from being snide, sarcastic and accusatory with each other. Perhaps some folks are taking something personally that is not personal, or are into inflammation for its cleverness or its own sake. In my opinion that kind of thing inhibits progress on the resolution of the issue of whether and where to build the proposed tree house. I invite everyone to speak and read with generosity.

    Bram, thanks for letting me in on this, and for letting me view my moment at the mic again so I could hear what I said. I can see by what you wrote that my support for the tree house did not come through as clearly as I wanted (you saw me as being against it) and I regret having left that impression with anyone.

    I am for:
    1. Accepting this gift to the city and the RAD
    2. A tree house design with the process as PPC outlined it.
    3. Minimizing the negative effects of traffic and parking congestion in the neighborhood surrounding ECS, which include dangerous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists on Braddock Avenue, potential loss of health, property, or even convenience for nearby residents who may not receive timely access to their own driveways or emergency assistance.
    4. Locating the tree house in such a way that it brings people to areas of the park that they might not otherwise visit.
    5. Locating the tree house where parking is ample, and street access can be made safe for pedestrians, cyclists and the orderly flow of traffic.

    I see the location I proposed as one possible site that fits the bill, and it would not plop a one-off project smack in the middle of any new Environmental Center plan and gum up the works later.

    If you want a look at the site I proposed, go to the Beechwood Blvd. entrance to the park where the Environmental Center was and walk on Beechwood toward Colfax. There is a lovely old stone wall, and after about 60 yards, there is a break in that wall where there is a small meadow, set back from the road. There is an old trail from its left side that leads down to the rear of the old EC. It's a great size for becoming a "dot" on the master plan educational site map, and its within easy reach of bus service.

    ..., a pirate ship? ARRRR!!! ;-D

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  33. 5. Locating the tree house where parking is ample, and street access can be made safe for pedestrians, cyclists and the orderly flow of traffic.

    So, not in the East End? Those are suburban zoning concepts.

    If you want a look at the site I proposed, go to the Beechwood Blvd. entrance to the park where the Environmental Center was and walk on Beechwood toward Colfax.

    Per Maria's comment of 5:15, there is already a plan to put the main building there. And, that hardly qualifies as bringing people to an area of the park they don't visit. That's pretty much the front door of Frick.

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  34. @Maria - since it is crystal clear that you are so very interested in appropriately defining everything - it would also be appropriate but most of all tactful and decent, to further define your reference to Kate and Peter's mom.

    "It's also most definitely not a treehouse, but that's not stopping nearly everyone referring to it as 'a treehouse' or 'the treehouse' which manages to create heat instead of light"

    "I realize that is what the grieving mother calls it (and that's her prerogative), but it in no way helps the debate."

    The grieving mother? How dare you? Words may be words to some, but clearly not to you! Obviously from your first comment, you were reading the comments section of this post in which her name, Amy, is mentioned in the comment (by Mrs. S) immediately after the one you quoted. Nevertheless, if one were to give you the benefit of the doubt, in the very least, knowing nothing about her name at all, you certainly could have deduced that Mrs. Ambrusko would have been the most polite and appropriate reference for Kate and Peter's mom.

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  35. I think the dialogue yesterday was more conducive to compromise than some of the comments here today. What I witnessed last night was the conflict of traffic on Braddock Ave. and that no matter what that needs addressed. Another thing that occurred last night was that while I am not a resident of Regent Square, I so wish my children would be fortunate enough to attend the Imagine ECS. So many residents just have such a dislike for the school and I am puzzled. I was in attendance for Peter and Kate's memorial service held at ECS and yes, parking is an issue. However, it seems the school and the park and the area is such a huge perk to children and what better way to get them to love the area and want to give back. Also, when the conversation came up regarding the funds, I was appalled. Appalled that the insinuation of something 'shady' going on with that. Those who donated were touched by the lives of these two people. And by their mother and her courage and grace. When the young woman with the clip board continued to grill the PPC and their representatives in a manner that seemed to resemble a scene out of A Few Good Men, I shifted in my seat. The idea that Amy would let the names of her children be involved in anything that lacked the best intentions is just disgusting.

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  36. To MH -
    My criteria for location of the tree house is actually consistent with Urban Sustainability concepts, and the site I propose is a real, urban place which meets the criteria I support, and that many others at the meeting and on blogs voiced they would support.

    The site I propose is not where the EC was, nor is it large enough to be the site of a new EC. If you cannot picture it from your own experience, then it is likely a part of the park that you have not visited.

    Frick Park has no single, grand entry as Highland Park does. It has multiple gate houses, gateways, playgrounds and driveways designed as access points in multiple neighborhoods, including some boroughs outside the city limits. I believe that the "front door" of Frick Park is wherever one finds it best to enter.

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  37. The people of Regent Square need to be enlightened, so here goes:

    You live in the city.


    Actually, per the web site of the Regent Square Civic Association, "Regent Square is a tree-lined neighborhood on the eastern edge of the City of Pittsburgh. Sited along both sides of Braddock Avenue between the Parkway East and Forbes Avenue, the neighborhood is composed of portions of the municipalities of Edgewood, Pittsburgh, Swissvale and Wilkinsburg."

    Many of the same people who are saying "those of you not in our neighborhood cannot have a say in what goes on in 'our' park" are not actually residents of the same municipality as the park (Pittsburgh).

    Not saying that actual city residents should be the only ones to hash this out; Frick Park is fiancially supported by a variety of sources besides Pgh, including county and state dollars ... and we "all" can and do use it. (Certainly, it makes no sense to think that 500+ acres were not donated specifically for the use of direct neighbors.) Just pointing out that there is error in the argument that the only voices which are valid are those that live in the park's community. The identity of that community is not exactly unified.

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  38. and the site I propose is a real, urban place which meets the criteria I support, and that many others at the meeting and on blogs voiced they would support.

    I imagine so, since they are already putting the bigger, main building for the Envirnomental Center right there.

    Braddock traffic isn't the issue as the numbers that could be attending the tree house center are too small to affect that one way or the other. People don't want anybody driving on the side streets. An understandable choice, but hardly one which the rest of the area needs to support.

    It has multiple gate houses, gateways, playgrounds and driveways designed as access points in multiple neighborhoods, including some boroughs outside the city limits.

    Frick is light on amenities compared to Schenley. And all of the events at Frick use one or the other of the Beechwood entrances or the Point Breeze part up by Frick Art.

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  39. @JJ

    You're seeming to assume that I referred to Mrs. Ambrusko as a "grieving mother" out of some sort of snark or disrespect. Nothing could be further from the truth. I specifically referred to Mrs. Ambrusko as a "grieving mother" precisely out of recognition that that is what she is and that nothing I was writing was aimed at her directly (not making my comments personal to her). I was aware of Amy Ambrusko before this controversy because I have visited her blog about her efforts to deal with the tragic loss of her children before this debate ever erupted.

    You also seem to assume that I am against this project. At this point, I am neither against it or for it. Nor do I live anywhere near Regent Square, but I do live in this city.

    What I do have a problem with is people discussing an issue without the benefit of facts. The fact is that it's not a simple tree house, yet obviously some believe that it is -- as is evident in the comment section here and elsewhere -- because all they're hearing is "treehouse." According to the Parks Conservancy’s own RFP, Mrs. Ambrusko's original "Treehouse" play area concept has been rolled into a much larger project.

    I also have a problem with the charcterization that anyone who is against this project as presented by the Parks Conservancy is somehow against Mrs. Ambrusko, the memory of her children, memorials in general or children in general.

    Pittsburgh is a community. No one group has some unassailable right to decide what goes on in that community no matter how good the intentions. And, at this point too many seem to be perfectly willing to assume bad intentions by the side that they aren't on.

    We all have to try to fathom one another. I have found very little of that recently.

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  40. Bojack here.

    What I heard at the meeting was a very strong anti-any use of the park sentiment, by close neighbors who even went so far as to complain about the tennis center (which presumably theydon't happen to use) and the restoration of Nine Mile Run as
    "draws" which bring people to the park!

    They moaned about the traffic in general in the area.

    Traffic is heavy EVERYWHERE!

    Frick is the LARGEST city park, over 500 acres, it's THE place
    for these tiny spots, INCLUDING
    the treehouse!

    Hey! Regent Squareites, you get in your cars, drive to wherever YOU want to go don't you?
    Rt. 88 to South Park?
    North Park? Point State Park?

    The opposers CLEARLY just want everybody to stay away. including "those" people!

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  41. Wow. Just wow.

    A quarter of a million children die in car accidents each year? I had no idea the number was so high. I wonder if the "treehouse" money that has been raised might be put to better use trying to improve vehicle safety and traffic awareness issues. Maybe even fund some sort of traffic calming on S. Braddock, where pedestrians have been killed in recent years, in memory of Kate and Peter. "Kate and Peter's School Crossing", or something like that.

    And whatever happened to that idea about building a parking garage in Frick Park? That would take care of the parking issue, and there are parking garages everywhere, so people must use them. Maybe some sports-related company, like Nike, or UPMC, could help pay for it and put like a small plaque or something on it with their name.

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  42. A parking garage and a plaque with their names on it...that sounds like it will really speak of their spirits and engage children and families in learning.

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  43. And whatever happened to that idea about building a parking garage in Frick Park?

    That was never an actual idea, just a complication that someone created to try to stop anything that might attract a kid from outside the neighborhood to Regents Square.

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  44. Come on. I'm not advocating a Kate and Peter Memorial Parking Garage, just a parking garage to make it easier for people who don't live in the neighborhood to visit a Kate and Peter memorial. Please, work on your reading comprehension.

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  45. just a parking garage to make it easier for people who don't live in the neighborhood to visit

    To translate, "We can't build this here unless you raise much, much more money for a parking garage." It's a standard tactic in these kinds of things. Add a feature that is good in and of itself to make a project too expensive so you don't have to argue on the merits of the project as proposed. If you are losing the argument, argue something else.

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  46. Once again in true liberal fashion it is a bunch of people who don't live in or around the affected area telling the people that do live there how they should live.

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  47. Boy, was I wrong with "3 to 4 months"! It's still way up in the air.

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