TreeVitalize Pittsburgh Hits Milestone: WPC, Partners Plant 15,000 Trees
Thu, Nov 8th 2012, 08:38. Filed under News Releases.
Pittsburgh – Nov. 9 – With the support of private foundations and public agencies, five partners and the hard work of 4,200 volunteers, TreeVitalize Pittsburgh has planted 15,000 trees since 2008. Under the management of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the partnership is three-fourths of the way toward its goal of planting 20,000 trees by the end of 2013.
TreeVitalize Pittsburgh will mark this milestone with a celebratory planting of the 15,000th tree at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9 at Millvale Riverfront Park in Millvale, Pa. This special planting will occur as dozens of workers and volunteers continue to work toward their goal of planting 850 trees in that borough before the summer of 2013.
“This is an important milestone for the Conservancy’s urban forestry work,” said Thomas D. Saunders, WPC’s president and chief executive officer. “Urban forestry is in the Conservancy’s DNA. The organization’s first on-the-ground project involved the planting of trees along Bigelow Boulevard in 1940.”
TreeVitalize is the product of work by WPC and its partners – Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, Tree Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), which is also one of the initiative’s top funders. The trees being planted benefit communities in a number of ways, including producing oxygen, purifying the air, sheltering wildlife, decreasing energy usage and increasing property values. All told, Pittsburgh’s street trees provide $2.4 million annually in economic and environmental benefits.
Financial support for TreeVitalize Pittsburgh was provided by the Heinz Endowments through the Breathe Project, which is striving to improve the Pittsburgh region’s air quality. The Breathe Project is a coalition of residents, businesses, government and other groups in southwestern Pennsylvania that are working together to clean up the air for the health of families and the economy.
The Richard King Mellon Foundation also has been one of the top supporters of this effort to enhance the tree canopy in the Pittsburgh region. In addition to helping TreeVitalize, the foundation recently gave a grant to WPC, which will enable the organization to plant 20,000 trees in riparian areas along streams in priority watersheds throughout Western Pennsylvania.
The Colcom Foundation has made several significant grants to the Conservancy’s urban forestry work, including the introduction of 250 large caliper trees in the Golden Triangle. The Foundation’s quality of life mission supports green infrastructure and beautification projects in the city such as the planters adorning downtown streets.
Tree planting in Millvale was made possible by a grant from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, also known as PENNVEST, which called for the construction of bioswales in order to control storm water runoff and its pollution of Girty’s Run. Other TreeVitalize projects received substantial support from PENNVEST.
Other financial support was provided by the Pittsburgh Foundation, the Alcoa Foundation, Direct Energy and the Home Depot Foundation.
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 has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved more than 233,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 135 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 13,000 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.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy