"Our Shared Legacy"

Gardens, Greenspaces Connect People to Nature

Throughout its history, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has been working with communities of all sizes on greening projects that bring nature close to home – wherever home may be.

The Conservancy’s Community Gardens and Greenspace Program uses various greening strategies throughout the region, partnering with neighbors, funders and volunteers to ensure healthier environments. The benefits of the work include:

Volunteers tend to this community garden in Johnstown, Pa., one of WPC’s 135 gardens in 20 counties.
Volunteers tend to this community garden in Johnstown, Pa., one of WPC’s 135 gardens in 20 counties.
  • • Creating more inviting neighborhoods and commercial districts;
  • • Instilling neighborhood pride and community spirit;
  • • Engaging people in productive and rewarding volunteer work;
  • • Reducing stress and providing moments of peaceful
  • • respite for walkers, bicyclists and commuters;
  • • Improving air quality; and
  • • Helping to reduce storm water runoff.

One of WPC’s most visible and beloved projects is its community gardens, featuring vibrant flowers and greenery in public places – more than 5 million people pass the gardens every day. In total, the organization works with more than 13,000 volunteers in 20 counties to plant 135 flower gardens.

The gardens serve as visual reminders that the region is committed to revitalizing neighborhoods, connecting people to nature and enhancing the quality of life. The program also creates thousands of meaningful volunteer opportunities. Each year, the Conservancy recruits thousands of people to plant and maintain the gardens; for many, this experience ignites a lifelong love of gardening and nature. This extraordinary level of volunteer involvement keeps operating costs for the gardens program extremely low.

It’s not widely known that WPC beautifies Pittsburgh with planters and hanging baskets. The glorious flowering planters, hanging baskets, and other plantings that beautify downtown are planted and maintained by the Conservancy.

A green and vibrant downtown district helps to reduce development pressure on outlying, undeveloped areas – so downtown greening efforts serve conservation goals as well.

The Conservancy’s School Grounds Greening project improved students’ environments by adding green play space and outdoor classrooms to Pittsburgh Public Schools. This partnership with the Grable Foundation and Pittsburgh Public Schools brings low-maintenance, sustainable landscape to 55 campuses. The project provides refreshed, low-care plantings to provide shade, landscape accents and natural points of interest for the children.

Finally, WPC works with communities to identify and implement green infrastructure of all types.

Get Involved

You can help WPC by volunteering your time! Click here to learn more.