Opening Green Playces: McKeesport


img_64302Last week in partnership with Trinity Church of God in Christ and Youth CAST, we successfully opened our fourth Green Playce! Every Green Playce is unique, and Green Playces: McKeesport in no exception.  The City of McKeesport has a rich history and our Green Playces Team wanted to honor the tradition of ingenuity as well as the connection to steel.  According to Tube City Online,

“In 1872, the National Tube Works Company was founded to make steel and iron pipes (or “tubes”) for water, oil and gas. In 1901, “National Tube” became part of the new U.S. Steel Corporation and McKeesport was making more steel pipe than any other city in the world. (That’s why they still call this “The Tube City.”) Soon more industries came to town. The city’s population boomed to 55,000 during World War II, when McKeesport’s factories employed more than 10,000 people making bombs, airplane parts and other vital defense supplies.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, the decline of the U.S. steel industry hurt McKeesport and other cities in Western Pennsylvania. Today, McKeesport’s population is one-third of its peak, and because of that, empty buildings and high unemployment are familiar problems.”

We started to help design the Playce about six months ago, based on the input from the kids of McKeesport’s After School Program. Their ideas for the space included educational TV tigers, creative places to play, and a wide scope of outdoor educational spaces.


Over the summer we had help from many members of the community, as well as volunteers from McKeesport School District, Youth CAST, Eat N’ Park, Mothers and Sons Camp, and US Steel to build out the site.

Last week we had the “wood-cutting” ceremony to officially open the Green Playce. We were joined by community members, Art Expression Inc., members of Youth CAST, the City of McKeesport Mayor’s Office, and congregation members of the Trinity Church of God in Christ. We are so proud to have been part of its creation with such incredible partners!

GTECH plans to dedicate our 5th Green Playce in Wilkinsburg in the next few weeks!  Check back on our website for the date of the dedication in the coming weeks and for volunteer opportunities on our Hill District site.




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