Heth’s and Natoli Fields are two frequently used amenities in Morningside. Sports teams, children at the playgrounds, dog walkers and recreation seekers of all kinds find their way to these facilities. While many people pitch in to keep the fields well maintained, time and normal wear and tear are taking their toll.
Last summer Councilman Dowd helped to convene city officials, members of MACC and our youth sports teams to start to identify potential field improvements and determine which city departments would be able to assist. As the group began to rattle off item after item, it became clear that the project might be a bit bigger than first anticipated.
Using information leaders expressed during this first meeting, MACC submitted a proposal to the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh’s Design Fund. The Design Fund assists communities by providing financial support that enables organizations to retain a professional design firm to assist with community planning, visioning and development of design drawings for a specific project. CDCP selected MACC through their competitive application process to receive a $7000 Design Fund Grant this past December.
Members of MACC and the youth athletic team leaders developed and distributed a request for proposal to leading design firms from southwestern Pennsylvania. Firms responded by outlining their approach to improving the two fields. In March, the working committee selected Pashek and Associates – a Pittsburgh-based planning and design firm to lead the project. Pashek and Associates has valuable experience in athletic facility design and a great familiarity with Morningside. To learn more about the firm and see examples of their work please check them out at www.pashekla.com.
The field improvement project will require a significant amount of community engagement. While we often associate the fields for hosting youth athletics, the project provides an opportunity to acknowledge the use by all members of the community, improve coordination of activities and identify the resources necessary to improve the condition of the fields. With this in mind, there will be several community design meetings hosted through the process to solicit input and ideas from Morningside residents to include providing high quality athletic fields and youth activities, but also integrate the needs of other residents. The intended outcome of the project is to develop a community vision that continues to raise the standard and quality of these two neighborhood assets and determine the resources required to implement the vision.
We hope that you’ll join the project and share your ideas.