Schenley Park is the second largest Pittsburgh park, beaten only by Frick Park, and consists of 465 acres of land between the neighborhoods of Oakland, Greenfield, and Squirrel Hill. Most of the land was donated to the city by Mary Schenley in 1889, and the city purchased additional areas from the family in the following years. The park borders both Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Schenley Park is famous among exercise enthusiasts in the area for its extensive trails that wind through the hilly terrain. Hikers, runners, and bikers can go for miles on the gravel paths through some amazing scenery. Schenley Park is also home to the Schenley loop; a favorite for runners. This 1k loop is located at the highest point of the park, making it a great place for interval training while enjoying the breeze and the view.
In the warmer months, Schenley Park is home to a variety of outdoor activities. Families can enjoy the tennis courts or the pool during the day, and gather for a movie in the park on weekend evenings. In the winter the park also sports an outdoor skating rink.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens were erected Schenley Park grounds in 1893 by Henry Phipps as a gift to the city of Pittsburgh. The large Victorian style steel and glass greenhouse is both an architectural and cultural wonder within the city. The conservatory is currently a non-profit that aims to educate people on environmental issues while enabling them to develop a love and wonder of plants.
Phipps Conservatory places a high value on educating the community on the importance of green and sustainable living and the role plants play in that lifestyle. They currently have educational programs and classes available for both adults and children. They also partner with schools and teachers in order to supplement the curriculum of local schools. The conservatory offers seasonal exhibits throughout the year in order to make repeat visits worthwhile.
The conservatory can be rented our as a beautiful location for weddings or receptions. There is also a tea room just across the street that makes for a perfect stop to end your visit to the conservatory. If you are in the mood for a more substantial meal, there are restaurants of every cuisine imaginable located in nearby Oakland.
By Joanna Abraham