Highland Park Super Playground Project

Latest News

  • The playground is open! While a few final flourishes remain to be completed such as additional trees and installation of the hidden mosaics, the playground itself is now open to the community! Photos of the Grand Reopening event on August 27, 2022 can be found here.
  • The new Super Playground has a new beautiful sign, created by the Pittsburgh Glass Center, at the entrance, featuring mosaic flowers made by community members at public mosaic making events that took place in May. See photos here. And if you’d like to have your own mosaic flower, you can now purchase a commemorative kit from the Pittsburgh Glass Center.
  • HPCC would like to thank everyone who submitted ideas for hidden mosaics at the new playground. You can see all the ideas and the 12 selected mosaic in the Mosaics! below. The hidden mosaics will be installed in October 2022.
  • Thanks also to everyone who submitted photos and memories for the #LastSlide project celebrating the original Super Playground. Check the photos out in the #LastSlide section below.

About the Project

Created in 1991 by a group of dedicated neighborhood volunteers, the Super Playground has served as one of Pittsburgh’s most beloved play spaces and the scene of countless memories for generations of local children.

Built to last for twenty years, the original playground was in place for over 30. Starting in 2020 the Highland Park Community Council (HPCC), the City of Pittsburgh, design firm Merritt Chase, and other neighborhood groups collaborated with the community to embark on a redesign and reconstruction. Like the original endeavor in 1991, the Highland Park Super Playground rebuild project was a collaborative effort. Community members, young and old, were invited to give their feedback and ideas through a series of surveys, community meetings, and other forms of outreach that include residents of Highland Park and beyond. The goal was to make a playground that will be imaginative, interactive, nature-based, and inclusive for all ages and abilities. The new playground opened on August 27th, 2022.

The Super Playground is located in Highland Park near the upper reservoir and along Reservoir Drive which encircles the reservoir. There are walking paths to the playground from the roads surrounding the park.

Community Garden Mosaic Sign

Photo of the new Super Playground with mosaic sign in foreground

The HPCC partnered with the Pittsburgh Glass Center for the creation of a new mosaic sign at the front of the Super Playground. In Spring of 2022, two community mosaic flower-making events were held to allow community members to help create this mosaic sign so that it would truly be a personal mark on the new playground by members of the community.

Hidden Mosaics @ the Super Playground

The Hidden Mosaics is a public art project that will be installed at the new Super Playground. It is a collaboration between the HPCC and Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC). 12 small mosaics will be placed around the playground space. Each mosaic will be based on ideas submitted by local residents. They are being hand-crafted by Pittsburgh Glass Center artists. These unique pieces are intended to add moments of discovery and delight for children as they explore the playground.

In fall of 2021, the HPCC solicited ideas for these mosaics from the communities around Highland Park. We received 70 wonderful and creative entries. Each entry is shown below with the 12 chosen designs listed first. These hidden mosaics will be installed in October 2022.

Selected Mosaic Designs

The 12 selected designs were contributed by community residents, including eleven children ages 4 to 11 as well as an art teacher at Fulton Elementary, the Highland Park neighborhood elementary school.

Please click on the entry images to see them up close and read a comment from the artist.

Additional Submissions

#LastSlide – Memories from the Original Super Playground

Built by community volunteers in 1991, the Super Playground has long been a place of joy for Pittsburghers. A whole generation grew up on this incredible wooden playground. Many who spent their childhood hours sliding, swinging, and racing among its castle peaks now have children of their own. With 31 years of memories, it is bittersweet to say goodbye to the original playground structure, though it has well exceeded its expected lifespan. While the new playground promises to renew the Super Playground experience for the next generation, we won’t soon forget the original! We asked community members to share memories from the Super Playground. Here are a few.

“I moved to Pittsburgh in 1992 at the age of nine years old. The Super Playground was a joyous part of my childhood for many years. That ground is sacred to many of us ‘90s kids who spent hours there on those long summer days. What began as a place to play, run and jump, morphed into a getaway for friends to share secrets, hopes and dreams. I cherish the memories made here and if that wood could talk, it would be filled with stories of joy, sadness, love, hope, despair and nearly every other emotion you could fathom. I look forward to the many memories that will be created for generations to come with the new plans. The playground may be leaving but our memories will never die.” – CC

Project History:

  • August 2022: The playground reopened!

  • June 2022: The playground equipment installation began!

  • May 2022: Hundreds of neighbors helped to create the flowers and letters for the new Super Playground welcome sign.

  • April 2022: The playground was originally scheduled to be completed by early June, but global shipping delays mean that the new equipment will not arrive until late May. It will be a further 6-8 weeks after the equipment arrives before the playground opens.

  • March 2022: Construction has begun at the Super Playground! The old playground has been removed and the grounds are being prepared for the new playground.

  • October 15th, 2021: The Highland Park Community Council is working with the Pittsburgh Glass Center to create Hidden Mosaics nestled on rocks and wooden features around the new Highland Park playground. These will be inspired by ideas from kids and turned into mosaic designs by Pittsburgh Glass Center artists. To submit an idea, download a coloring sheet from https://engage.pittsburghpa.gov/highland-park-super… and send your design to HPCCPgh@gmail.com.

  • October 15th, 2021: The Highland Park Community Council is working with the Pittsburgh Glass Center to create Hidden Mosaics nestled on rocks and wooden features around the new Highland Park playground. These will be inspired by ideas from kids and turned into mosaic designs by Pittsburgh Glass Center artists.

  • September 27th, 2021: The final renderings of the new Super Playground design have been released!  Click here to view:  https://engage.pittsburghpa.gov/highland-park-super-playground

  • December 3, 2020: 2nd Community Workshop

    Two conceptual directions were shared by the design team to gather community feedback

  • October 15, 2020: 1st Community Workshop

    Results from a community survey were shared and members of the community were invited to give their recommendations and suggestions to the design team