Squirrel Hill Neighborhood
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Wightman Park 

Project Description


The Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA) identified this project as an opportunity to incorporate a City Park Master Plan into its Green First Plan to address the City’s combined sewer overflow issues.

Ethos expanded upon the original stormwater wetland design by proposing to use it at as a pretreatment feature prior to a large underground stormwater infiltration bed under the proposed baseball field. Upstream of the park, the project modifies the combined sewer inlets along the block of Solway Street in front of the park to capture 3.25 acres of “directly connected” impervious surfaces. Green Infrastructure elements include right-of-way tree planters and green inlets, a cascading water features, an extensive rain garden and subsurface storage.

As Project Manager and Contract Prime, Ethos was responsible for coordinating the efforts of numerous subconsultants, and led the overall design, stormwater modeling, plan production, permitting, and community engagement efforts. The park is presently under construction, scheduled for completion in late Summer or Fall 2020. A second phase – the Wightman Streets GSI project – is presently under construction and will capture an additional 3 acres from the surrounding neighborhood.

Services Provided

  • Project Management
  • Conceptual Design
  • Costing / Performance
  • Stormwater Modeling
  • Site, Utility, Grading & Stormwater Design
  • Community Engagement
  • Plan Production
  • Specifications
  • Land Development
  • Environmental Permitting
  • Construction Administration

Design Process

Green infrastructure design by Ethos Collaborative.  Renderings by Others.


Master Planning

The planning process aimed to address the community needs for an exciting public space and environmental needs for runoff reduction and stormwater capture. 


Hydrologic Assessment

The team analyzed the historic and current conditions at the site, including historic streams, impervious surfaces, and the terrain. This information revealed that the park’s location is naturally prone to collecting water, which makes it an ideal place to implement stormwater management strategies. Instead of burying the water, the design of the park embraces the water’s presence. 

Wightman Park Historical Stream

Historical Streams

The park is located along a historic stream channel that ran through the Squirrel Hill neighborhood when it was first built, but was subsequently enclosed in the City's combined sewer infrastructure.

Wightman Park Terrain

Terrain Analysis

The terrain of Wightman Park resembles a natural pond, and is therefore an ideal location to capture and store stormwater from the surrounding neighborhood.

Green infrastructure design by Ethos Collaborative.  Renderings by Others.


Plan Development

Through coordination with other designers, the plan for Wightman Park addresses stormwater concerns while providing the residents of the Squirrel Hill neighborhood with a lively public space.


Completed Project

Community & Design Partners

Pashek + MTR

  • Site Design Lead
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Community Engagement

Sci-Tek Consultants

  • Topographical & Boundary Survey
  • Geotechnical
  • Environmental
  • Utility Coordination

Carriage House

  • Community Input & Feedback

Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition

  • Community Input & Feedback

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