Wightman Park provides a model of how a master plan and design process can bring two agencies together to solve two problems; enhancing a park by providing a one-of-a-kind inclusive playground, picnic pavilion, multipurpose field, walking path, and half basketball court; and solving some of the surrounding neighborhood’s stormwater issues by directing runoff from 30 acres of surrounding streets into green infrastructure facilities within the park.
The challenge was accommodating both the recreation and stormwater needs of the community within such a small footprint while also collaborating with two clients, the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. The result is a park where green stormwater infrastructure is truly layered and integrated within recreation, becoming part of the user’s experience.
Pashek+MTR’s design uses a stormwater rock cascade situated at the main entrance to carry runoff from surrounding streets into a rain garden situated in the middle of the park. Overflow from the rain garden passes into series of underground tanks beneath the ball field, basketball court, and playground for detention and infiltration.
Visitors are able to interact with green infrastructure features at every point including a boardwalk through the rain garden and pervious pathways. Interpretive signs and a viewing platform on top of the restroom encourage visitors to look at stormwater in a new way.