Pittsburgh’s ‘Welcome Garden’ at the Fort Pitt Tunnel is Saved by Huntington Bank

Tue, Nov 23rd 2010, 13:41. Filed under News Releases.

Pittsburgh, Pa. – November 23, 2010 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s well-known “Welcome Garden” at the entrance to and exit from Pittsburgh’s Fort Pitt Tunnel has been saved from potential closure in 2011 thanks to a new sponsorship from Huntington Bank. Today, officials from Allegheny County, Huntington Bank and the Conservancy celebrated the continuance of the garden – now called the Huntington Welcome Garden – during an event at the Conservancy’s office in Pittsburgh and at the garden site, where new evergreen trees were planted.

“The Huntington Welcome Garden symbolizes so much of what is great about Pittsburgh: It is a friendly city and a revitalizing ‘green’ city that has become an inspiration for other urban centers worldwide,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. “We are grateful to Huntington for enabling the Conservancy to continue maintaining this special garden.”

Located in the median of the Parkway West (Interstate 376), the Huntington Welcome Garden and signage serves as a vibrant focal point for commuters and visitors at the inbound entrance to the Fort Pitt Tunnel – and sets the stage for the dramatic view of downtown Pittsburgh on the other end of the tunnel. An identical sign at the Huntington Welcome Garden also greets motorists exiting the city from the outbound tunnel. The renewal of the garden takes place during 2010, the 50th anniversary year of the completion of the Fort Pitt Tunnel.

"The Huntington brand promise is to be a good neighbor, to make a significant difference in our hometowns and to invest where our customers live and work. Each day, Huntington bankers greet their customers and communities with 'Welcome to Huntington.' Now the popular Huntington Welcome will be extended to the millions of motorists who travel into and out of our city annually," said Dave Hammer, regional president for Huntington in the Pittsburgh Region.

Established in 1998, this garden includes a 7,390-square-foot flower bed that is planted with 6,500 flowers and 45 tons of mulch. It also contains numerous shrubs, plus pear and cypress trees, and it blooms each early spring with 1,500 daffodils. More than 100 volunteers, plus WPC staff, work to plant and maintain the garden each year. The most costly and labor-intensive of the Conservancy’s 140 community gardens due to its gigantic size and location, this garden had been in jeopardy in 2010 due to a sharp reduction in corporate and other funding sources. This fall, the Conservancy placed a large “Financial Sponsor Needed” sign at the garden site in order to raise awareness about this need.

In addition to supporting the Huntington Welcome Garden, Huntington Bank will sponsor the Conservancy’s community gardens at The Point (Liberty Ave. and Commonwealth Street) in downtown Pittsburgh, and at Grant Street and First Ave., also downtown.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy continues to seek financial sponsors for other community gardens, which are located in 20 counties throughout Western Pennsylvania. For more information, contact Gavin Deming at 412-586-2394 or gdeming@paconserve.org.


Photos have been made available for media use at: http://goo.gl/rIVhQ.

About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC helped to establish ten state parks and has conserved nearly 229,000 acres of natural lands and waterways. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Mill Run, Pa. that symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 140 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 11,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.

Media contacts:

William Eiler
Huntington Regional Public Relations
(412) 227-4858 work
(412) 335-3244 mobile

Stephanie Kraynick
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
(412) 586-2358 work
(412) 992-1226 mobile



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.