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By David Pollio
Point Park News Service
For almost 15 years, Mt Washington native, Chuck Wise, 36, has been operating the Duquesne Incline.
There, he sends tourists from all over the world up and down Mt Washington, providing them with what USA Weekend magazine named one of the top 10 views in the country. But the high-ranked view has been missing a vital piece since 2009: The fountain at Point State Park.
“I have people coming through here on a regular basis and they all ask the same question, ‘Where is the fountain?’” Wise said.
Wise constantly has to remind tourists, as well as locals, about the $35 million project to improve the 36-acre park. However, he is excited for the construction to be complete.
“It’s a famous attraction for the city,” Wise said. “It’s going to be an added bonus for the city when it is finished.”
Point State Park is one of the 120 state parks located throughout Pennsylvania, according to Park Manager Mathew Greene, 37, of Portersville. Greene, who oversees the park’s operations, law-enforcement, and environmental education and interpretation, has been at the Point since 2005.
“The fountain is the iconic image that everybody sees in pictures, mugs, and t-shirts,” Greene said. “But hopefully, weather permitting this winter, we hope to see the fountain flowing again by the late-spring / early-summer of next year.”
Greene said that the water for the fountain is provided by an aquifer that runs under the park. This aquifer is what many people refer to as the fourth river or the unnamed river.
The new fountain will be equipped with LED lights that will illuminate the main column of the fountain at night. The fountain will still have the three peacock fans at the base of the column to symbolize the three rivers.
Greene also described a new feature of the fountain that will not only be different from the original fountain, but also act as protection for the fountain from inevitable flooding. The new fountain will have an infinity edge waterfall ring that is 20 feet from the outer rim, and that is also 18 inches higher.
“This will hopefully negate 30 percent of the flooding we get here at the park,” Greene said.
When the park is finished, it will have a variety of attractions including tree-identification hikes as well as edible-plant hikes. PSP is currently home to edible plants such as blueberries and wild strawberries.
“I am really excited and I am looking forward to seeing the fountain flow again next year,” Greene said. “Not only does it mark the completion of the parks renovations that began in 2009, but it will also give the city of Pittsburgh back their internationally recognized icon.”