WPC Brings Trees and Flowers to Convention Center for G-20 Summit

Tue, Sep 22nd 2009, 15:39. Filed under News Releases.

Project capitalizes on 77 years of greening Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pa. – September 22, 2009 – New trees, shrubs and flowers will brighten the entrance to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in time for the G-20 Pittsburgh Summit as a result of a project completed by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) last week.

The convention center

With funding from the Colcom Foundation, WPC planted 39 trees, 277 shrubs and hundreds of plants and flowers at the Convention Center site. The project is one of several greening efforts led or supported by WPC and its volunteers in preparation for the G-20 Summit.

“This project creates a vibrant entrance to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center that is consistent with the emerging public image of Pittsburgh as a ‘green’ city,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. “The Conservancy has played an important role in the green transformation of Pittsburgh over the decades, so we were very pleased to carry out this signature project through the generous support of the Colcom Foundation.”

Mary Conturo, executive director of the Sports and Exhibition Authority, said, “The Conservancy and the Colcom Foundation approached us right after the announcement of the G-20 event and offered to help with the improvement of the 10th and Penn Entrance to the Convention Center by adding plantings and greenery. They took on the project from beginning to end. We are very appreciative of the wonderful addition they have made to the building landscape and believe it will significantly improve the impact the building will have on those visiting the City during the summit.”

Also in preparation for the Pittsburgh Summit, the Conservancy:
- Partnered with Allegheny County and Home Depot to add flowers and greenery to a large site on the inbound side of the Parkway West that includes a new “welcome” sign for visitors. WPC staff members provided technical advice on plants and planting, as well as provided tools and oversight for the project. Home Depot supplied plants and a large contingent of volunteers.
- Developed a “green perimeter” around Cultural Trust parking lots in the downtown area through the addition of 60 planters containing shrubs and flowers.
- Added shrubs, mulch and other greenery at the corner of 7th Street and Fort Duquesne Boulevard.
- Took extra steps to beautify WPC community gardens in high-visibility locations, particularly along the airport corridor to downtown, with the support of volunteers.The convention center

The Convention Center and downtown greening projects were led by Arthur DeMeo, director of greenspace services, whose experience includes significant urban greening initiatives in New York City. Volunteer Coordinator Lynn McGuire-Olzak managed the contributions of WPC’s volunteers.

Widely known throughout the region for its community greening projects, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy began its urban greening work in Pittsburgh began during the 1940s. At the time, the organization initiated a project to landscape Bigelow Boulevard after a landslide. The project included the addition of trees, vines and shrubs to a once-barren streetscape. Over the decades, the Conservancy carried out numerous projects to add needed greenery and flowers to Pittsburgh communities. Today, the Conservancy beautifies downtown Pittsburgh with hundreds of flower baskets and planters; brightens communities throughout the region with 140 community flower gardens; adds greenery to Pittsburgh public schools; and plants trees through the TreeVitalize program.



About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC established six state parks and has conserved nearly 225,000 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 8,300 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,300 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.


Media contact:
Stephanie Kraynick
Director of Communications
(412) 586-2358


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.