Last year, in response to our request to hold the Great Frick Park Camp Out, Corey O’Connor introduced a simple amendment to the current ordinance governing park usage which would allow the Director of Parks and Recreation to review requests by groups wishing to hold such events, and make a determination whether to allow the event or not.
Unfortunately, this amendment has been met with some concerns from council members who fear unknown unintended consequences. (And they may be associating this with recent concerns about unauthorized tent camping in various areas around the city by individuals.) This is why we believe it is important for supporters of the new policy to call their City Council representative’s office and share their thoughts. It is also vital for Citiparks and the Department of Parks and Recreation to know that their constituents support supervised and approved camping in the city parks. In addition, consider contacting the Mayor’s Office. We have provided information below on how you can reach their offices.
What to say
Not sure what to say when you contact them? Here are a few talking points!
– I want pre-approved and organized camping to be legal in Pittsburgh’s Parks
– This would not create a camping free-for-all or legalize individual camping in the parks. All groups would have to apply for a special events permit and provide extensive details on the event, describe how they would supervise it, and how many people would attend. These applications would then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
– Could you hold a hearing, or a post-agenda session to discuss amending the ordinance and clarify any concerns?
– I want Pittsburgh to serve as an example of a forward-thinking, outgoing, and ecologically-minded city.
– Tell them why you support camping in the park and why you think it’s beneficial. Examples of benefits include creating a new way to interact with nature in the urban environment, a chance to bring together a diverse group of people to share in a common experience, and increased awareness of urban parks and their significance.
Who to contact
Mayor William Peduto
Director of Citiparks
Council District 1
Council District 2
Representative: Theresa Kail-Smith
Office Fax: 412-255-2821
Council District 3
Council District 4
Council District 5
Council District 6
Representative: R. Daniel Lavelle
Office Fax: 412-255-0737