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Ranking the 9 Best Patches of Grass on Pitt’s Campus

The bane of my existence is a good day outside because then my life priorities are just thrown out the window. I am simply too busy basking in the sun to care. Living in Pittsburgh, 9 months out of the year, there are only slivers of sunshine in between rainstorms and there is always a vague smell of wet dog. However, spending my summer in Pittsburgh these last couple of months has shown me that Pittsburgh can be partisan to sunshine, just not during the winter months. I have gone on a personal journey, in which I have attempted to explore every inch of campus and right off campus to find the perfect lounging spot on a nice summery day. I have found many green spaces around campus and have decided to share my favorites, as well as the other members here at Her Campus at Pitt with you!

I should disclaim that to enjoy each patch of grass to optimal ability, sunshine and 75-85 degree weather is ideal. Also, a blanket and snacks can add to the instant gratification obtained from that specific patch of grass. I will try to be as unbiased as possible, but what can I say, some patches are more powerful than others.

Cathedral of Learning Lawn: Breeds Chaotic Good Energy

Cathy is, of course, a gem herself and basking in her beauty from any angle is such a privilege. Whether you enjoy a patch of grass by the Stephen Foster Memorial Theater, Heinz Chapel or you rotate every 30 minutes because you do not want to pick a side, it is all prime real estate! I am personally a fan of the back of Cathy (a baby got back) because you have the option of either getting away from the sun’s rays in the shade or taking it all in. Also, if I may say, people watching on Cathy lawn is something else. There is always something going on whether its spike ball, a volleyball match, a food fight, a drunken picnic or the girl’s rugby team doing a team workout, you will always have something to watch. Cathy is Cathy, so 9/10.

Soldiers and Sailors Lawn: A Spring Must

Soldiers and Sailors lawn is an ideal location because of its placement in the heart of campus. If you need a little sunshine in between classes, it is the place to stop and soak it all in. My personal bias is that it is a little noisier because of Fifth Avenue, but the hustle and bustle almost add to the ambiance. It is etched into my brain as a spring spot because you can see students flooding there after being trapped inside all winter. It really is a beautiful patch of grass to study, chill and just be outside. Because of my personal opinion that it is a seasonal spot, it earns a 7/10.

Front of Carnegie Library: Versatile King

The front of Carnegie Library has a cute grove like presence. It is its own tiny oasis in the concrete jungle (*stars playing "Empire State of Mind"*) that is Pitt’s campus. Not only do the trees in the area provide fantastic shade on a sunny day, they are also perfect for hammocking when in need of a nice nap. It is not technically a part of Pitt’s campus, but nonetheless 8/10 for versatility.

Schenley Plaza: Good Morning, Noon & Night

It has been called “The Gateway to Schenley Park” because at a whopping 5 acres of land it contains not only free wifi, a carousel and Asia Tea House (big fan), it also provides a green space for you to run, work or just hang-out. It is a prime location for when you need a break from Hillman but cannot afford a break from studying itself. Its prime location to Asia Tea House gets this baby a 9/10.

The Balcony of Forbes Hall: It is a Privilege, Ma’am

A place for the privileged, home to first-year engineering students, this residence hall has a secret patch of green just for its students. Many may not know about this hidden gem, but when you find it you will not forget it! It is cute, cozy and never too overpopulated! A win on all fronts, 6/10.

Oakland Square: A Historic Patch of Green

Oakland Square is another patch of green that you just did not see coming. The area is more acquainted with off-campus students due to its South Oakland location and because of this, it is more remote and peaceful than the rest of the list. Away from the hustle and bustle of Forbes and Fifth, Oakland Square provides a remote patch of green with a sense of wisdom, removed and wise beyond its years. 8/10 for seeing both the good and the bad of South O’.

Frick Fine Arts Building: Beautiful, Inside & Out

Nobody does it like her, absolutely nobody. She is beauty, she is grace, she is multi-faceted, innovative and original. Frick Fine Arts is a double-whammy with providing green space within its own walls AND the green space surrounding the building. It is honestly a win-win because the inside is great to study before class and the outside grass is good for hammocking, yoga in the grass or even a quick nap between classes. 9/10 for being iconic.

Pete Lawn: It is Worth the Walk

I am highly aware that no one wants to get their heart racing on their way to go relax, but hear me out, please, I beg of you. Passed "Cardiac Hill" and up the stairs, is a bowl-shaped patch of green like no other. Surrounded by buildings of glass and baby trees, the Peterson Events Center lawn is a fantastic place to study, picnic or even cool down from the hike up the hill. If you are feeling adventurous, give it a try, you might just like it up there on Upper Campus, go ahead stay a while. For consistently telling me that I am indeed out of shape, but still being a fantastic patch of green to visit, 7/10.

Flagstaff Hill: Supreme

Flagstaff Hill, not *technically* on Pitt’s campus, but I will walk any distance to be in its presence. It is the supreme of all patches of grass, not only does it have shade, it has porta-potties, a view of Cathy and a promise for the best sunset seat in Pittsburgh. It is for the elite. 10/10.

Keely is a Psychology Major and pursing a BPHIL in International and Area Studies on a Global Studies track. She loves to visit new places in Pittsburgh and spend time outdoors. Keely hopes to one day work within the field of Global Health.
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