In October of 2014, a group of neighbors came together to talk about how to create a “gateway” to the neighborhood. The team decided to include a green infrastructure, along with signage to help identify Stanton Heights and welcome people to the neighborhood. The idea of adding signage has been discussed by residents for many years, but nothing had yet come to fruition. What would the sign look like, and how could the association get something funded within a relatively short period of time? These questions were discussed at several community meetings over the course of the next 6 months.
The committee identified three major gateways to Stanton Heights: the front lawn of Sunnyside Elementary, right at the bend of Stanton Avenue; Mossfield and Azure; and Stanton Avenue near McCandless Avenue, coming up the hill from Lawrenceville. Due to construction and hillside assessment work being completed at the other two sites, the group decided to first focus on the Sunnyside Elementary school site. The Pittsburgh Public School board agreed to this location, and the plans moved forward.
The sign’s design incorporated the Stanton Heights logo, which was created by one of our own residents, Bryon Creagh, who lent his graphic design talents to the community a couple of years prior. Bryon had attended community meetings where neighbors discussed what was important about their neighborhood, and what made Stanton Heights unique. He took notes at these meetings, thoughtfully considered their meaning and how to best represent the neighborhood, and created our Stanton Heights logo. Adding Bryon’s design to the sign seemed like the perfect solution to the gateway greening committee!
Stanton Heights has worked closely with City Council District 7 over the years, and Councilwoman Deb Gross was happy to assist in allocating neighborhood needs funding to pay for the cost of the sign. Her contribution covered the entire expense, alleviating the need for the group to do further fundraising, and allowing them to focus on the greening portion of the gateway.
In early May, about 15 volunteers helped plant 10 trees on the property in front of Sunnyside Elementary. These trees were graciously donated by the Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission, and are an assortment of redbud, crabapple, dogwood, and service berry trees. These trees will provide a burst of color in the spring and beautiful foliage in the fall.
Currently, the sign is working its way through the City of Pittsburgh’s approval processes. Our goal is to have this community asset placed in the ground in August, with a ribbon cutting ceremony in conjunction with our Community Festival! Stay tuned as we look forward to welcoming the neighborhood to this exciting event!
Future steps include adding signage to the additional gateways, continuing to beautify and green the neighborhood through additional plantings, and incorporating public art into the community landscape. To get involved, email Green Committee Chair, Lissa Geiger Shulman at: lissa.geiger [at] gmail.com