Highland Park grew out of Pittsburgh's need for a municipal water system in the late 1800s. A reservoir providing drinking water for the city was opened in 1879 and people were immediately drawn to the site because of all the open space and beauty. Soon the reservoir became a popular spot to pass the day with picnics and recreation and it was officiated as Highland Park in 1889.
Today thereservoir is an iconic feature of the park and the Reservoir Loop is a popular trail for bikers and joggers. At the entrance of the reservoir sits a Victorian style garden with benches, a fountain, and a reflecting pool. Highland Park also features a popular bike trail, swimming pool, sand volleyball courts, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. Seasonal pools rest along Washington Boulevard to provide an urban wetland habitat while also reducing the impact of storm water runoff. Future plans for Highland Park include work on the Heth's Run project which will create a new trail, add athletic fields, and connect thepark to the Allegheny River.