TreeVitalize Pittsburgh - River Trails

The City of Pittsburgh is fortunate to be situated at the confluence of three rivers. Along those three rivers are 24 miles of multi-use riverfront trails, providing access to city neighborhoods, business districts and recreational activities.  TreeVitalize Pittsburgh has received grants through the Colcom Foundation, ALCOA Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Federation to help transform these riverfront trails through ecological restoration tree plantings and creating green buffers between trails and streets. Thousands of trees have been planted through these efforts along all three of Pittsburgh’s great rivers.

TreeVtialize trees planted along the Allegheny River in Millvale Riverfront Park

Friends of the Riverfront, Tree Pittsburgh and the City of Pittsburgh are valuable partners in this effort. Tree Pittsburgh and the City are ongoing partners on plantings throughout the region, and have joined WPC and Friends of the Riverfront on several major trail plantings since 2009. Friends of the Riverfront have been working on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail network for over 20 years. They offer their knowledge of the Pittsburgh riverfront trail system, help identify locations most in need of trees and contribute staff expertise to help coordinate volunteer plantings each planting season. These river trails are seeing increased use by cyclists, pedestrians and commuters, offering significant opportunities for tree plantings to improve users’ experience. Riparian (or river front) tree plantings increase trail user comfort and safety by providing tree buffers from automobile traffic, providing shade and cooling the air. Riparian trees also improve habitat for wildlife, increase aesthetics, improve water quality through interception of stormwater runoff, help stabilize the riverbanks and encourage economic development along trail corridors.

Volunteers plant TreeVitalize trees along the South Side Heritage trail next to the Monongahela River.

To date, TreeVitalize Pittsburgh has planted over 1,500 new trees along the North Shore Heritage trail system, of which 855 trees have been planted along the South Side trail, nearly 100 along the Eliza Furnace Trail as well as another 100 along the Eliza Furnace Trail. This has all been accomplished with the help of hundreds of volunteers - thanks to all involved in these projects! To volunteer at an upcoming trail planting, please contact or call 412-586-2386 for more information.