The purpose of the award is to recognize excellence in the public park community for those that demonstrate the integration of green and sustainable park practices and connecting people to nature.
The nominations were judged on predetermined criteria reflecting green and sustainable park principles under the categories of: Site Location and Design, Water, Natural Landscaping, Materials Selection and Construction, Connecting People to Nature, Operations and Maintenance, and Environmental Stewardship Messaging.
The Township of Upper St. Clair is commended for their exemplary integration of green and sustainable park practices at Boyce Mayview Park. In 1996, the Township acquired 238 acres of the Mayview Farm property, formerly the Mayview State Hospital grounds, from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The location of this property directly adjacent to the Township’s 236 acre Boyce Park property resulted in a Master Plan process, which examined potential development and conservation opportunities for the now combined Boyce Mayview Park.
The Township’s larger goal for creating sustainable development and community are represented in the Park’s environmental preservation and recreation opportunities:
-- Boyce Mayview Park balances the community’s needs for passive, nature-oriented activities with recreational activities;
-- The park’s varied history that also includes farming and coal mining provides opportunities for interpreting the coexistence of nature, technology, agriculture and industry;
-- Clean up/remediation of a former dump site in Chartiers Creek and erosion control techniques have repaired habitat;
-- Permeable surfacing in parking areas and interior trails promote groundwater infiltration and eliminate storm water runoff;
-- A variety of habitat areas from extensive woodlands, open fields, stream valleys, wetlands, native wildflower areas and active community vegetable gardens occur onsite;
-- 200 trees were planted during the park’s development and continue to be planted annually;
-- Direct access from connected neighborhoods to the Park and a Township sidewalk/bikeway system connecting schools, athletic venues and other neighborhoods not directly connected to the Park;
-- LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental and Design) systems and green designs were integrated into the Community and Recreation Center;
-- Community composting/recycling facility onsite; and
-- Environmental education programs and interpretive signage offered for visitors and school districts through the onsite Environmental Education Center.
The Township will be provided a wall plaque, tree and commemorative marker to be placed in the vicinity of the tree in recognition of their efforts.
(Reprinted from the April 11 DCNR Resource online newsletter and written by Ashley Rebert is an environmental planner for DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.)