A sunny and cool spring morning on Pittsburgh’s North Shore was the perfect setting for the Pittsburgh Redbud Project launch on April 19. About 40 special guests and volunteers joined the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) and Colcom Foundation at the Three Rivers Heritage Trail along the Allegheny River to introduce the new initiative.
As part of the launch festivities, 60 redbud and other native trees were planted by volunteers, including 40 students from Winchester Thurston School. Redbud and evergreen tree saplings were also given away to guests to plant at home.
John F. Rohe, vice president of philanthropy at Colcom Foundation, believes that the project helps further enhance Pittsburgh’s livability and sense of place. The project is funded by the foundation in celebration of its 20th anniversary. “To build a place worth caring about is to bring out the best in a community,” said Rohe.
Thanks to Colcom Foundation, starting this spring the Pittsburgh Redbud Project aims to plant 1,200 native Eastern redbud trees on trails, hillsides, parks and open spaces along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers around downtown Pittsburgh including near Point State Park. Plantings will continue in fall 2016 and spring 2017, and help reforest the city’s riverfronts with trees and vegetation and bring color to the landscape. The project was conceived by Frank Dawson, a Pittsburgh-based landscape architect with Cannon Design.
“The redbud is one of my favorite trees and they will provide a delicate burst of pink and purple in the springtime, dappling the tree line,” said Dawson. “I’m happy to be working closely with WPC, Colcom Foundation and all of the project partners to see my dream become a reality for the City of Pittsburgh.”
Plantings for the project began April 2 with the kickoff of the spring tree-planting season. To date, 400 trees have been planted, which include redbud, other flowering trees and evergreens. Also, WPC is giving away 1,500 redbud and evergreen saplings to the public as part of this project. Thursday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Market Square Farmers Market in downtown Pittsburgh is the last opportunity this spring for the public to get a free tree to plant at home.
Learn more about the Pittsburgh Redbud Project on our website.