Heth’s and Natoli Field Improvement Overview and Survey

Quality recreational spaces are an important component of any community.  Morningside is fortunate to have two such neighborhood parks within the community. Heth’s and Natoli Fields are unique environmental assets that host a variety of activities for people of all ages.  In recent years, the topic of improving the two parks has become a frequent conversation among members of the community.  The fields are often the focus of neighborhood clean ups, extensive use by youth athletic teams, children using the playgrounds and adults seeking recreation or exercise opportunities.  However, maintenance, improving safety and upkeep has become a concern of residents, patrons and city officials alike. Because of their popularity and heavy use, physical and scheduling improvements are needed at the two fields.

In an effort to help coordinate the field improvement conversation and seek solutions to challenges and opportunities for improvements, MACC sought and received assistance from the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh (CDCP).  Using resources from CDCP and assistance from Councilman Dowd’s office and Representative Costa’s Office, MACC coordinated a steering committee consisting of representatives from the community’s youth athletic teams, city department staff, elected officials and residents to hire a professional design firm to help guide the community through the field improvement process.  The committee selected Pashek Associates because of their awareness of the neighborhood and their deep experience in designing and programming athletic fields and park spaces.

Pashek Associates engaged in an intensive review of historical documents, interviews of key municipal personal and neighborhood and youth athletic team leadership and field permitting data.  Using the information gathered and the input of the primary users of the facilities, Pashek Associates prepared a series of draft renderings to provide visual demonstration of potential field improvements, reconfigurations and programming recommendations. This information was then presented to the steering committee for review.

The committee is interested in receiving additional community input from residents and neighbors. The purpose of this input is to help shape the plan, identify priorities for future improvements and uses, recognize items that might not have been identified yet and develop the agenda for the upcoming community meeting.

The purpose of the field improvement planning project is to build a strategic community vision that can help attract the resources necessary to invest in and improve these two assets.  The final planning document will serve as a guide for the community, serve as a recommendation for future investment, community activities, and field use, and be used to support future grant applications.

The community planning meeting is scheduled for October 17th at 6pm at the Morningside VFW.


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