Project Partners:City of Meadville, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Crawford County Commissioners, Allegheny College

Arts & Environment Initiative: Shadybrook Park

Nestled in a residential neighborhood between north and Morgan Streets and split by Mill Run is Shadybrook Park. Despite its convenient location, the park is underutilized and was due for improvements. In the fall of 2007, students in the capstone class for the Arts & Environment minor began to develop concept plans and secure funding to revitalize and beautify the neighborhood park. Since then, these efforts have been continued by individual students under the direction of CEED.

To be completed in 2010, this CEED project consists of design and construction of a stormwater filter, development of a small trail and footbridge, as well as reconstruction of the deteriorated south access steps and sandstone retaining wall. The stormwater filter will mitigate runoff for up to 19 acres of watershed drainage and provide stormwater management for Mill Run. Coordinated by CEED, the City of Meadville worked with Chris Brown of Derk & Edson Associates of Lititiz, PA, with construction completed by Landscape by Design of West Middlesex, PA.

Old access steps

Working with the City of Meadville, CEED secured Growing Greener grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Robyn Snelling '09, collaborated with community members to guide part of the revitalization efforts.

Snelling met with the Meadville Junior High School cross country running coach and team to discuss the creation of a trail through the park that could be used for team practices. She also laid the foundation for a partnership with the Crawford County Career and Technical Center (CCCTC) to build a footbridge as part of a water filtration system to be constructed in an effort to purify stormwater from the area above the park.

Installed in 2010, the footbridge was designed based on historical photos that date back to the 1940s.

New steps under construction

Snelling also assisted with data collection as part of an environmental assessment of the Mill Run watershed, also funded by a Growing Greener grant. Developed by Allan Messenger '09 and Amanda Bresnehan '09, the environmental assessment focused on macroinvertebrates and water quality, while also providing details of the stream corridor. Messenger and Bresnehan worked with Professors Scott Wissinger and Milt Ostrofsky on these assessments in fulfillment of their senior projects.


Environmental Assessment

A 3-dimensional model of these plans was built by Emma Cook '12 and research on property along Mill Run was conducted by Chris Plano '12 who also worked to develop GIS maps for the park. thanks to these efforts, Shadybrook park will soon be a place where children can play safely, adults can excercise and community members can meet and mix while enjoying the park's natural beauty.

Model of Shadybrook Park

To create a welcoming atmosphere, CEED interns Liz Duhan ‘09 and Chrissy Wusylko ‘10 designed and fabricated two murals that were installed on exterior structures in the park in September 2009. Each of these murals was designed to include key visual ideas from Meadville Area Senior High and Meadville Area Middle School students. Also involved were retired CCCTC art teacher and muralist Pete Maruska and his son Andrew, who is currently an art student at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Murals were featured in the
Meadville Tribune


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Artists' rendering showing the Shadybrook Park improvements funded through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Changes include:

  • Rebuilding of the South Access steps (on right side)
  • Stormwater filtration system (middle right)
  • New trail and footbridge