Parks Conservancy to display Black Live Matter signs in several parks | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Parks Conservancy to display Black Live Matter signs in several parks

After the eruption of Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, organizations have been faced with how to tackle systemic racism within their own industries. Today, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy announced that it will be placing welcoming signs in several of its parks across the city, to "promote equity throughout the city’s shared outdoor spaces."

The signs, which state "All Are Welcome Here" in a large font with "Black Lives Matter" underneath in a smaller font, will be placed in Schenley Plaza, Allegheny Commons Park, McKinley Park, and August Wilson Park.

"All parks users deserve to feel safe, welcome and respected in their parks,” said Parks Conservancy chief operating officer Catherine Qureshi in a press release. “Park equity cannot be achieved unless everyone feels safe and welcome.”
click to enlarge Signs that will be posted in several Pittsburgh parks
Signs that will be posted in several Pittsburgh parks
According to the press release, use of parks in Allegheny County rose by 108% from Sep. 6-Oct. 18 compared to "baseline data." A September press release from the Parks Conservancy stated that park use increased 135% in August and July.


“Parks play an essential role in our lives, especially at this challenging time,” Qureshi stated. “But Pittsburgh parks should provide safety and solace for everyone. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy embraces the responsibility of creating safe and inclusive park spaces that reflect diversity, highlight the characteristics of neighborhoods and communities, and lift up all who visit.”

The press release described the move as part of a "larger mission to promote equity throughout the city’s shared outdoor spaces." In August, the Parks Conservancy launched a program to rent out backpacks filled with different tools for enjoying the park, like one based on bird-watching or learning about insects.

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