Green Playces: McKeesport

McKeesport was once a major, bustling city, with a population of over 50,000 people. It was the second largest city in Allegheny County, behind Pittsburgh. Today the population stands at 19,731, a far cry from its glory days. There are abandoned buildings all around, many with historic character and significance. Even more have fallen down and burned over the passing decades, leaving great empty parcels of urban prairie.

However, there still remains a resilient cohort of community resident whose pride in their city. Has resonated throughout the entire, Green Playce implementation process and has served as the foundation for the success of the transformation that occurred.Through the whole of the design and implementation of Green Playces McKeesport, 11 organizations were engaged, including Youth Cast, Tube City Renaissance, and Allegheny East NAACP, Venture Outdoors, APOST, and  The Trinity Church of God in Christ.

The process of transforming what was once a barren field caught between a church and a city park was challenging.But with the help of the community residents and corporate sponsors U.S.S steel and Eat’n Park.We gradually transformed an unproductive space into something that not only can be utilized for learning and exercise. Yet also can be admired for the aesthetical quality it brings to the area. In total, the site engaged 195 people, including 82 youth, as volunteers and participants in events.
The McKeesport Green Playce site encompasses an outdoor classroom that also serves as a playspace , ecologically mindful landscaping, 1 Free library as well as the mural which is intended to commemorate Mckeesport skyline. The process of creating the mural also effectively incorporated youth and adults from the community ideas into the final design.

The Youth CAST Leadership Networks (YCLN) partnership with [Grounded's] Green Playce program has significantly enhanced the social quality of life for our youth in McKeesport Pa. [Grounded's] support has raised the consciousness for stewardship and preservation. Our partnership has yielded; land beatification, environmental education and outdoor recreation across the City of McKeesport for our youth and families. I am very honored to have partnered with them and will continued to do so for may years to come"

Keino FitzpatrickFounder YCLN

The third of six Green Playces, our McKeesport site is located in the 7th Ward of McKeesport.  The site is owned by the Trinity Church of God in Christ.


We held the first design charrette with youth from McKeesport Area School District coordinating with their after school programs on January 26, 2016, and completed the second charrette with community partners on 5/2/2016.