Downtown Pittsburgh Community Forestry

 The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has played a significant role in the reforestation of downtown Pittsburgh. Since 2010, working with the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh Partnership and downtown stakeholders, WPC has planted more than 750 trees to make downtown a more attractive and vibrant place for residents, workers and visitors. 

From 2010 and 2012, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and its partners planted 275 street trees, including 15 trees at Fifth Avenue Place using special underground soil cell technology called Silva Cells. Funded through a generous grant from Colcom Foundation, the project significantly improved the diversity of tree species in the neighborhood and enhanced overall tree canopy. With its partners, WPC developed a long-term maintenance program to ensure trees remain healthy into the future. 

Tree Plantings through TreeVitalize Pittsburgh in Downtown Pittsburgh

TreeVitalize Tree Planting along Penn Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh Tree Plantings through TreeVitalize Pittsburgh in Downtown Pittsburgh along Fifth Avenue. These trees were planted with Silva Cell Technology

Point State Park Green Infrastructure Project
As a gift and as part of its centennial celebration, the Garden Club of Allegheny Club (GCAC) commissioned WPC to install an attractive bioswale and rain garden featuring native plants to help manage stormwater runoff in Point State Park. 
Point State Park Bioswale in Downtown Pittsburgh

The bioswale and rain garden was installed in 2015 at the base of the Fort Duquesne pedestrian bridge. Educational signage is available to the park’s 2 million annual visitors and provides information on the benefits and effectiveness of natural approaches like bioswales for managing stormwater.

The GCAC Centennial Celebration project partners included GCAC members, WPC , Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and the Penn State Master Gardeners of Allegheny County.

Information sign in Point State Park for demonstration bioswale in Downtown Pittsburgh  Point State Park demonstration bioswale in Downtown Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Redbud Project – Point State Park and Gateway Islands

The Pittsburgh Redbud Project was initiated in 2015 through a grant from Colcom Foundation to plant flowering redbud and other native trees on trails, hillsides and open spaces in downtown Pittsburgh in view of the city’s riverfronts.

Frank Dawson, a local landscape architect, conceptualized seeing delicate bursts of deep pink amongst the browns and grays of early spring along Pittsburgh’s three rivers. As of fall 2017, more than 5,500 native redbud and complementary species, including shrubs and other perennials, have been planted with the help of hundreds of volunteers to bring to life Frank’s original vision.

Volunteers plant trees for the #Redbud Project at the entrance to Point State Park, Downtown Pittsburgh Staff planting Redbuds for the #Redbud Project along the 10th Street bypass, Downtown Pittsburgh

Redbuds are showy flowering trees and are among the first trees to bloom each spring. The buds appear on the bare stems before leaves. Some wildlife feed on redbud seeds and bees use the tree’s flowers for honey production. As part of the Pittsburgh Redbud Project, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy also planted evergreen trees and other native species to provide tree species diversity and encourage good tree health. Additional sites have been identified for more plantings in the future.

Volunteers plant trees for the #Redbud Project at the entrance to Point State Park, Downtown Pittsburgh New plantings in the Gateway Islands as part of WPC's Redbud Project

Contact us for more information about our community forestry work in downtown Pittsburgh at 412-586-2396 or

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code, and 100% of your donation is tax-deductable as allowed by law.