PITTSBURGH, MAY 30, 2008 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana today joined Governor Rendell, DCNR Secretary DiBerardinis and representatives of the PA Historical & Museum Commission, Riverlife Task Force, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open 23 acres of the 36 acre Point State Park to the public. 

“It has been almost two years since the announcement was made that work would begin on Point State Park to make much-needed repairs and improvements,” Fontana said.  “Today, we are giving the people’s park back to the people so that they can begin to enjoy the many improvements that have been made.”

Renovations to the park include new terrazzo and blue stone pathways, lighting, benches and bike racks.  The lawns available to the public throughout the park have also been expanded and have new sod and grass.  While there is more work to be done,  Fontana acknowledge the importance of having the majority of this work done as part of Pittsburgh’s 250th Birthday celebration.

“Point State Park is a pivotal part of Pittsburgh’s birthday celebration.  Just like it has been in the past, the park will be a gathering place for hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to downtown Pittsburgh.  With the many birthday events scheduled, there will be even more opportunity to showcase the park to the region’s visitors.”

Remaining work on the park is ongoing and is expected to be finished by the end of 2009.  That work includes changes to the river’s side of the park, a restored promenade, a water landing and plaza for small boats, and upgrades to the fountain.

The Point State Park Planning process was begun in 2001, co-sponsored by the Riverlife Task Force and the Allegheny Conference.  The planning process committee included 75 community leaders representing a broad and diverse constituency including representatives of several of the events held in Point State Park.  The master plan features general and aesthetic improvements to the park that will better accommodate special events and streamline park maintenance.