The Greater Park Place Neighborhood Association (GPPNA) is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to preserve, protect and improve the Park Place community and environs.
We are looking for community volunteers to become members and help the community take charge of its own destiny through proactive involvement on the issues that face us, such as:
- Neighborhood Improvements
- Safety Issues
- School Issues
- Planing and Development
- Street Cleaning & Municipal Services
- Communications and Outreach
- and others as desired and needed . . .
Membership gives you a voice in our community’s affairs and strengthens our collective voice on issues that matter to Park Place. Healthy membership numbers improve GPPNA’s ability to communicate effectively with public officials and other organizations about our needs. Your dues help us sponsor our summer picnic, winter holiday celebration, our annual clean-ups and other activities throughout the year, as well as paying the fees associated with hosting our website, email list, and Post Office box.
Thank you for your support!
To become a member, you must:
- Complete a GPPNA Membership Registration form (.pdf)
- Pay the annual individual membership dues ($10)
- agree to abide by the GPPNA Bylaws (.pdf)
Don’t know if you’re paid up? Contact us at info AT parkplaceblog DOT com.
Note: To vote in the annual board election, you must also live or own property or be the designated representative of a business in Park Place. Those not meeting these geographical criteria may become non-voting members.
Greater Park Place Neighborhood Association Boundaries
The geographic boundaries as defined by the Bylaws are: to the NORTH by the north side of Penn Avenue, to the EAST by S. Trenton Avenue, to the SOUTH by Forbes Avenue to Green Street and to the WEST by Carnegie Place.
View Park Place neighborhood borders in a larger map
Board Member Bios
I’m Greg Barnhisel, and I have lived in Park Place (on Kensington St.) for just over nine years with my wife Alison Colbert and my children Jack and Beckett. I’ve been a member of GPPNA for four years. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere in Pittsburgh except for Park Place—our proximity to Frick Park, Regent Square, East Liberty and Bakery Square makes it a lively area, but the neighborhood itself is small enough that I feel like I know most of the residents at least by sight.
While I am interested in all of the tasks that GPPNA has on its agenda, I’m especially invested in issues related to transportation, particularly bicycle and pedestrian safety and the smooth integration of the new ECS facility into the busy South Braddock corridor. I have a good working relationship with BikePGH and would seek to involve them in making Braddock and Penn safer. I would also seek to involve more residents in the neighborhood cleanup day.
Sue Breslow (Treasurer)
I’ve just finished my first term on the GPPNA board of directors. Over the past two years I have been the board treasurer, have assisted with administrative tasks on the Membership Committee, and chaired the 4th Annual Homeowner’s Workshop, titled “Exteriors 101”, held in the spring of 2011. I’m also on the committee charged with bringing a “Welcome to Park Place” sign to fruition.
For the coming two years, if given the opportunity, I look forward to supporting and expanding the six annual events sponsored by GPPNA, am interested in arranging tours of our local firehouse, want to arrange to have the fire department Captain speak at a neighborhood event, and want to begin fundraising efforts for the neighborhood sign, and am happy to continue being the treasurer.
Like most everyone here, I love living in Park Place and am inspired to see the direction our neighborhood is headed. I would be honored to serve for a second term on the board.
I have lived in Park Place for fifteen years and have an adopted cat named Flannel.
Katy Frey (President)
I’ve lived near the corner of Penn and Braddock for 4 years. During that time, I’ve become involved with the Greater Park Place Neighborhood Association, advocating for the renovation and sale of the two Walgreens houses on my block, organizing National Night Out events and serving on the planning committee for the annual home renovation workshop. During the past year, I’ve been honored to serve as the GPPNA Board President and have represented GPPNA at the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group Safe Neighborhood Network meetings.
If re-elected, I will continue to work with the newest addition to Park Place, the Environmental Charter School, to ensure a positive and productive relationship between the school and residents. I also hope to engage Park Place residents in discussions about bicycle safety in our neighborhood.
And of course, I will continue to pass out free ice cream sundaes from my front porch, where you can often find me hanging out with my husband Mark and daughter Laurel.
I have resided in the Park Place area since my pre-school days, and I am now 67 years of age. My brother, David, and I share our family home. I retired two years ago, having worked for Highmark for 17 years. My most receont position was an Appeals Administrator. Prior to that, I taught Junior High at several Catholic schools in Pittsburgh. My post-secondary school education includes a BA from Pitt, and a Masters in Education from Duquesne. Interestingly, I went to the local grade school, Park Place, which as you know, was converted to a condo, and is once again becoming a school!!! I was very involved with the “Walgreen’s Campaign,” and would like to be involved as Park Place is a vital, diverse community, and a wonderful place to live.
I moved to Park Place with my husband in 1980 because it was a quiet neighborhood near Frick Park. We are happy that in 32 years, the pleasant, friendly ambience has continued.
My involvement began with the push to change the zoning designation from R-4 to R-2. This prevented any additional houses from being subdivided into more that two apartments, and encouraged some owners to return their dwellings to single-family homes. From there I moved on to crime prevention and remain a member of the Zone 4 Citizens Public Safety Council, a Block Watch advocate, and a promoter of National Night Out gatherings. As a teacher, I arranged interactions with students and police to foster positive relationships. As a result of these activities, I received the 2012 Governor’s Citizen Crime Prevention Recognition Award.
My other main interest is social events. For 25 years we have hosted the Park Place Picnic on Abbott Street, and hope that it serves to bring together new and longtime residents to enjoy and strengthen our community. I also help coordinate the GPPNA-sponsored Holiday Party every December.
If re-elected, I will continue to be a liaison between Park Place and Public Safety, and to coordinate neighborhood social events.
A neighborhood resident and home owner for over 10 years, you may know my name from the parkplaceblog.com web site that I currently manage.
I am interested in being on the board for the neighborhood association because I wish to help make our community stronger, continuing down the path of improvement it has been on for the last several years.
I believe that to become a stronger community, we need to draw on the talents of our diverse community members and come together as strong advocates with a vision, guided by our individual strengths and unified under a common purpose.
Our neighborhood’s future is largely of our own making and will continue to be so as long as we do not cede that right to outside interests. I wish to have our community define our own direction for planning and development, and to have the community become its own best advocate in all matters related to it, including zoning, schools, redevelopment, and safety issues.
As a certified project manager with many years experience in electronic media communications, I can help build out some of the infrastructure helpful to those goals.
Khrys Myrddin (Secretary)
I was born in Park Place, and, after a number of comings and goings, I have resettled in the home of my birth. My undergraduate background is in ethics and political philosophy and I recently completed a Master’s of Public Policy & Management (MPPM) focusing on nonprofit managment. I currently am the Associate Director of the Conflict of Interest Office at the University of Pittsburgh. Crime and safety issues such as speeding traffic, lack of crosswalks, broken sidewalks, and poor lighting are of particular interest to me. I also have a strong interest in environmental issues, including the health of the Nine Mile Run watershed and urban organic gardening.
I envision GPPNA as a vehicle that gives Park Place a voice in City affairs and creates ways for neighborhood residents to work together for the betterment of our neighborhood. By organizing we can lobby for City services, help the police nip crime in the bud, ensure that the community has a say regarding development in the neighborhood, and improve Park Place ourselves with planned clean-ups and shared resources. We also will be able to network with other neighborhood associations to address issues that effect all of the east end. Not to mention we can have fun and get to know one another better! Ultimately, it is the diverse and wonderful denizens of Park Place that make our sliver of Pittsburgh’s East End a wonderful place to live (not to mention our fine cooking!). I want GPPNA to create opportunities for us to get to know one another, deepen those relationships, and care for the neighborhood we call home.
Melissa Neely (Vice President)
I love living in Park Place. My husband and I bought a duplex on S Braddock Ave in 1995. After 13 years, a large dog, and 3 growing boys, we decided we needed to move… next door. We have been converting a 4 unit into a single family house since 2008. Living on South Braddock Ave for 16 years, one of my ongoing concerns is pedestrian safety and our traffic issues.
A lot of my time is spent being a mom and the coordinator of the Neelyhouse. My work hours are spent as print designer for the Software Engineering Institute at CMU. My specialty is taking complex print information and making it easy to understand.
I look forward to contributing to the work of the GPPNA Board: supporting the neighborhood programs and events; helping build a sense of community between neighbors; addressing particular issues of the neighborhood; providing effective communications; and empowering residents to work together to improve Park Place.
Joni Rabinowitz (Membership chair)
My husband John Haer and I have lived in Park Place since 1976. I love this neighborhood have always been a big fan. Before retiring, I worked for 25 years as co-director of Just Harvest, an anti-poverty and anti-hunger advocacy organization–activism is in my bones. Currently I’m active in anti-fracking work. In Park Place, I’ve participated for many years on the summer picnic and was also one of the spearheads of the 2004-06 campaign to prevent Walgreens from rezoning the corners at Penn and Braddock and at Penn and East End, and tearing down 3 houses (we had a partial victory). Later, I lobbied Walgreens to repair the 2 remaining houses and put them up for sale. As a trained Tree Tender I helped organize the first tree planting in the neighborhood in 2008, when we planted 16 street trees. Now, I see that most people are oblivious to the needs of the trees we do have here and I want to work to protect them. John and I are Democratic committee people and we contact voters to get them out for every election. One of us is always at the polls on election day; we consider this a good opportunity to connect with our neighbors and catch up with concerns people have about anything. I maintain regular contact with Ricky Burgess, our city council member, and Barbara Daly Danko, our county council member as well as our state House and Senate members. I would like to continue serving on the board. I’m eager to recruit and welcome new people into the neighborhood. I’d like to see people buy and rehab some of the vacant housing.