By Julie Bastianini
Koenig Field is the crown jewel of Edgewood’s park offerings. Many years ago, Koenig Field belonged to the school district and was used as the high school football field. After a school district merger, Koenig Field became a part of the municipal landscape, available to all residents. Today, Koenig is the venue of countless parties, home to various sports leagues, and the epicenter of numerous special events in Edgewood.
Set in the center of Edgewood geographically, Koenig Field is also the heart of Edgewood’s recreational life. Koenig features a walking track, batting cages, a baseball and softball field, and tennis courts, all open to the public. The field is the meeting ground for Edgewood’s tee ball, softball, and soccer leagues, as well as our newest offering: Yoga in the Park. The field is used by outside organizations, and even a division of Pittsburgh’s ultimate Frisbee league.
I first became involved with Koenig Field improvements in my first few months working for Edgewood Borough. Outdated playground equipment located in a flood-prone area of the park made the children’s playground less than ideal. The playground had to close during large stretches of the spring and fall, leaving our neighborhood children without a safe place to play. Through a grant from the Keystone Fund, we were able to construct a new playground on higher ground. This means the playground can stay open year round, and also provides new, safer equipment. During the construction, kids in the park would come up to me and thank me for the new playground, saying they couldn’t wait for the grand opening. I received more positive feedback on the playground improvements than any other project I’ve been involved with, and mostly from our youngest residents! I was proud to have a hand in not only providing them with the new playground, but also in allowing them to engage with their local government at such a young age. The Borough had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new playground, and we had local children cut the ribbon and officially open the playground. Since then, it is the most popular spot in Koenig Field!
Koenig Field plays host to much of our community life, and is an area for families to make memories in Edgewood. In the spring, the Easter Bunny hosts our annual Easter Egg Hunt. An Edgewood Mommy group meets daily at the playground with their little ones. During the summer, the field becomes our very own “walk- in” outdoor movie theater for movie nights. Our Fall Festival and Oktoberfest celebrations feature arts and crafts, locally brewed beer, and hayrides. Kids camp out safely under the stars each year, and it’s also the place to come to buy your Christmas tree from our scout troop!
It is said that parks are the lungs of the city. Koenig Field certainly helps our community breathe and stay active each day, and is our meeting place for special events. Through the continued support of Edgewood Borough Council, community organizations, and the generosity of DCNR, Koenig Field will remain a focal point of life and activity in our community for years to come.