"Our Shared Legacy"

Connecting People to Nature Through Community Gardens and Greenspaces

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy‘s Community gardens and greenspace program implements a variety of greening strategies throughout the region, partnering with neighbors, funders and volunteers to ensure healthier environments. WPC aims to create several new green spaces in the Greater Pittsburgh region over the next decade, based on an analysis of the greenspace needs of downtown Pittsburgh. Moreover, the organization will continue to plant trees across the region through its urban forestry initiative, focusing on areas with sparse tree cover. Community members across the area are eager to have trees added in their neighborhoods; with additional funding, the Conservancy can provide street trees to additional communities.

Everyday, 125,000 vehicles pass this 
WPC garden in front of the  Fort Pitt 
Tunnels outside downtown Pittsburgh.
Everyday, 125,000 vehicles pass this WPC garden in front of the Fort Pitt Tunnels outside downtown Pittsburgh.

Tree-lined streets, hanging baskets, planters and green walls are just the beginning of a multi-year initiative to enliven the city. The tangible results from our earlier efforts have revealed new opportunities to “green” the region and Pittsburgh itself. Spaces that were once exclusively asphalt can be enlivened with trees, shrubs, green walls and flowers.

Our community gardens program needs sustained funding to continue to involve more than 12,000 volunteers – of which more than half are children – across 20 counties. WPC is continuously challenged to raise adequate funds from private sources, including corporate, foundation and individual donors, to sustain all the gardens across the region. For this reason, it is essential the organization grows its permanent gardens endowment. A gardens benefactor creates a permanent legacy by making a gift to help endow the program. His or her generosity will be recognized by name at a particular garden.

Our shared achievements, so far, include funding for:

  • • Three named endowments for gardens;
  • • Bates Street corridor greening project in Oakland;
  • • An Erie area “green scan;” and
  • • Significant funding for TreeVitalize urban forestry plantings

Overall Goal $8.4 million
Capital to Develop New Greenspaces in Pittsburg - $400,000
Capital to Plant 20,000 Trees in Greater Pittsburgh Area - $1,000,000
“Seed” Funding for Gardens’ Endowment - $1,000,000
Community Gardens and Greenspaces Operating Funds - $6,000,000 over 3 years