northside leadership conference

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Four applications to revitalize neighborhoods and foster social and economic diversity passed initial scrutiny by the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday.

The URA is asking for a combined $1.5 million in state Keystone Communities Program funding to fill gaps in local resources. State decision makers will choose which, if any, projects they want to fund.

If approved, the money would be split four ways.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

The oldest park in Pittsburgh is getting a facelift. A section of Allegheny Commons around a popular Northside fountain will be rebuilt this summer.

The Allegheny Commons Initiative is a volunteer group, that up until recently was handling most park matters. The group wanted to undergo a multimillion dollar project that would restore the park to its heyday, but was met with some funding challenges.

So the Initiative partnered with Northside Leadership Conference, and with the Pittsburgh Park Conservancy.

Northside Leadership Conference

For more than 40 years, Becky Coger could be seen piling mulch and gardening supplies into the back of her pickup to tend to one of her six North Side community gardens. Coger’s green thumb was given an unwanted rest when a drunk driver destroyed her 1984 GMC more than three months ago.

But Thursday, Coger, or “Miss Becky” as she’s affectionately known, was handed the keys to a 2003 Dodge Ram paid for through donations from more than 130 North Side neighbors.

The Northside Leadership Conference will use $900,000 in pledged funding from Highmark, Northwest Savings Bank and the Pittsburgh Steelers to support the North Side neighborhood including small business and strategic real estate development.

Gloria Rayman, past NSLC board of directors president, said Friday because the coalition of grassroots neighborhood organizations has non-profit status, it can partner with corporate sponsors.