One Woman’s Hard Work Leads To Penn Hills Park Renovation

PENN HILLS (KDKA) — Good intentions don’t account for much unless you can roll up your sleeves and make them happen.

And that’s exactly what happened today at a local community park.

A group of people volunteered their time to help the Penn Hills Community Development complete extensive renovations on the park.

KDKA took a look at the team that made it all come together.

“It’s just my passion,” said Ruth Stills. “I have done this all my life. My parents loved gardening.”

Thursday, Stills got to share that passion with dozens of volunteers at a park in her Penn Hills neighborhood.

The park along Mt. Carmel Road has seen better days. The sod is being torn out in the flower bed for fresh mulch. The gazebo just got a new roof on this popular Penn Hills corner.

“A lot of kids come here as a gathering space,” said Danielle Wilson with Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh. “There’s a bus stop right there so it actually provides a lot of shelter for the residents as they are waiting for public transportation.”

The gazebo and park were built in the early 2000s. For the past four years, Stills has taken care of the property – even paying to have the grass cut each week.

“I think this neighborhood will come back — and that’s why and I want it to look nice,” she said.

The project is being spearheaded by Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh.

“A lot of what we do is work with corporations that come to volunteer with us and we find projects for them,” said Wilson. “They come help us out where we are, so we are out here revitalizing this community space.”

Not all the volunteers have green thumbs, but they are more than willing to help.

“Some of what they are talking about is what’s a real plant and what’s a weed,” said volunteer Rebecca Single. “Some of us may not be seasoned gardeners today. For the most part it’s catching up. The 28 of us that are from our Pittsburgh operations don’t get the opportunity to team build together all the time.”

Stills says the project is possible thanks to another woman who volunteered with her years ago.

“She remembered me and she knew I was doing this and she put my name in with the board, and here we are,” she said.

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