What We Do

From attending zoning and planning meetings to holding community fundraisers and planting street trees, our volunteer board members stay busy throughout the year.  Here’s a look at our committees and what each one does:


We hold several fundraisers throughout the year.  Currently, the pie sale, the plant sale, and the Home Tour directly benefit the South Side Community Council.  All others raise money for various projects in the South Side.

Pie Sale
KP_20202 plant sale 004
Essers Plaza Revitalization Sketch

Planning, Zoning, and Licenses

Our planning, zoning, and licensing committee works with several different city departments as well as with developers who hope to build on the South Side.

Focus areas include working with developers on new or existing projects, attending appropriate zoning board hearings, setting up community meetings so that residents can learn about new developments close to their homes, and monitoring new liquor licenses.

Community Beautification (Green n’at)

Our passion is to make the South Side beautiful, inviting, and green!

Green n’at work includes ongoing community litter clean-ups, planting, weeding, mulching, and maintenance and long-term projects to create and revitalize green spaces. We also host educational workshops, sell plants in the spring, and host the South Side Garden Tour.


There are six gardens and parklets on the flats that the SSCC currently manages:

  • 11th and Carson
  • 18th and Carson
  • South Side Riverfront Park sign and garden
  • Steel worker sculpture garden (by the dog park)
  • War Memorial Park at Sarah and 12th
  • 1900 Block of Carson Parking Lot


Current projects

Esser’s Plaza

South Side Community Council is working to revitalize Esser’s Plaza to be a welcoming, open space where the community can gather. We have partnered with Engineers Without Borders’ Pittsburgh Chapter to move the project forward with an enhanced design, construction documents, and required approvals.

The design was completed with input from the community stakeholders, residents, and South Side businesses. Landscape Architect Jeremy Brown of Laquatra Bonci also helped to guide the design process.

Funding this project is made possible by the following organizations:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Greenways, Trails & Recreation Programs grant
  • Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Neighborhood Initiative Funding grant
  • Lowe’s 100 Hometowns grant
  • Colcom Foundation

Essers Plaza Revitalization Sketch

South Side Park

South Side Park is unique in its location and topography — a hidden 65-acre community park, with traditional recreational amenities as well as natural areas that dominate its landscape. Located within the South Side Slopes neighborhood,and bordered by South Side Flats and Arlington neighborhoods.  The South Side Community Council has been a partner for the yearly Goat Fest event and a key stakeholder in the Park Master Plan.

For more information about the South Side Park Master plan please visit the City of Pittsburgh Project Site  https://pittsburghpa.gov/dcp/ssp-background  To get involved with Friends of South Side Park, please visit https://www.fosspark.org. Also check out SSP Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SouthSideParkPGH/

South Side Public Art

South Side Public Art is bringing art to the South Side, giving artists opportunities to develop their skills, display their art, be compensated when possible, and to engage openly with the community. This positive approach is inclusive and celebrates the diversity and creativity of artists in Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

More About South Side Public Art

Riverfront Trail

One of Pittsburgh’s first riverfront parks, the South Side Riverfront Park located along the Monongahela River is an integral component of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail system. Park amenities include one of the four public boat launches in the City of Pittsburgh, two kayak launches, dog park with a dedicated ‘small dog’ area, & plenty of public parking to access the Park’s amenities.  The Southside Community Council holds trail cleanups in the spring and fall.  If you are interested in participating in an upcoming trail cleanup, see our Volunteer page

For more information about the Park and Riverfront trail visit Riverlife Pittsburgh’s Riverfront Guide page https://riverlifepgh.org/riverfront-guide/south-side-riverfront-park-trail/

Ormsby Park Community Garden

In collaboration with the Citiparks Ormsby Recreation Center, the South Side Community Council created a community garden in 2021.  The garden will be a teaching tool for Citiparks Children’s Summer Programs at Ormsby. It will be maintained by the kids and all the beautiful bounty of fresh veggies will go to the kids, their families and anyone that volunteers at the garden During the summer, Tuesdays are harvest nights where residents can pick up vegetables. Several volunteers worked hard every Saturday in the summer of 2021 to dig out the grass, get new dirt in, and transform the space into a beautiful garden.

If you are interested in participating in the Ormsby Children’s Community Garden, see our Volunteer page

More about Ormsby Park Community Garden


Street Trees

The South Side Community Council plants street trees twice a year, spring and fall.  We also weed and mulch existing tree pits year-round.

If you are interested in a street tree or to volunteer on a maintenance day, see our Volunteer page


KP_Ormsby Park clean up crew
Esser PLaza Check_Barb _ Cyril
Ormsby Park Clean up
AS_PGH Firefighters
AS_PGH Police

Community Engagement

South Watch

The South Side Flats and Slopes Code Enforcement Project works to improve the quality of life on the South Side by bringing people and institutions together to identify code violations, advocate for their remediation and monitor the outcomes.  Meetings happen on the second Wednesday of the month and alternate between 12 noon and 6 pm. Please check our calendar for meeting times.   

Visit our South Watch web page to learn more.

View South Watch Meeting Minutes


Public Safety

Public safety is a topic of ongoing concern for residents and businesses in the South Side.  It affects the quality of life of our residents and the prosperity of our businesses. .   

Visit our Public Safety web page to learn more.


Planning Forum

The South Side Planning Forum was established in 1985 and is the collective voice of the community on issues pertaining to planning policy. The Forum operates as the monitor of the Neighborhood Plan, with cooperation, participation, and input of constituent organizations. Since the Parking Enhancement District (PED) began, monthly reports have been provided by Councilman Bruce Kraus and Allison Harnden, the city’s night time economy manager.

Currently, the forum consists of the following organizations: The Brashear Association, South Side Chamber of Commerce, South Side Community Council and South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association. It also includes sector representation from education, health, religious institutions and the arts.

Meetings occur the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 PM.  The July and August meetings are combined and occur during the last Tuesday in July.

Date Notes/Documents
August 9, 2022 YouTube Recording
July 12, 2022 YouTube Recording
April 12, 2022 PF Minutes 4/12/2022
March 8, 2022 PF Minutes 3/8/2022
February 8, 2022 PF Minutes 2/8/2021
January 11, 2022 PF Minutes 1/11/2022
December 14, 2021 PF Minutes 12/14/2021
November SSCC RPP Public Comment SSCC RPP Public Comment 11/04
November 9, 2021 PF Minutes 11/9/2021
October 12, 2021 PF Minutes 10/12/21
September, 14 2021 PF Minutes 9/14/21
June 8, 2021 PF Minutes 6/8/21
Graffiti Watch

In 2007, Graffiti Watch, a volunteer action group of the South Side Community Council (SSCC) was formed with the goal of preventing and removing graffiti vandalism on the South Side. Dedicated volunteers prevent and remove graffiti from the South Side. Keeping our community free of graffiti requires a sustained effort. Graffiti is a public safety issue that contributes to blight, increased criminal activity, reduced property values, and added expenses. Graffiti Watch works in partnership with residents, businesses, property owners, and the City of Pittsburgh.

Block Watch

Block Watches are great community builders!  It is enjoyable and rewarding to learn about the many interesting and diverse individuals and families that live just within our own block watch boundaries. Learn more by visiting our Block Watch page.