WHAT: Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto and Elizabeth J. Tata, president and secretary of Laurel Foundation, will join the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in Market Square to hang 2015’s first flower basket. The Conservancy will install hundreds of hanging flower baskets across downtown Pittsburgh after the ceremony.

WHEN: Friday, June 5, at 10 a.m.

WHERE: The event will take place in Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh.

WHO: William Peduto, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh
Elizabeth J. Tata, president and secretary of Laurel Foundation
Tom Saunders, WPC president and CEO

WHY: Each year, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy hangs 410 colorful flower baskets along downtown Pittsburgh’s major streets and sidewalks and the Rachel Carson, Andy Warhol and Roberto Clemente bridges during the spring and summer months. Laurel Foundation has awarded a grant to ensure that flower baskets continue to beautify downtown Pittsburgh this year.

Thanking Laurel Foundation for being part of the revitalization of downtown Pittsburgh, Mayor William Peduto will join Laurel Foundation and the Conservancy to hang the first flower basket of the season in Market Square, where 52 total baskets will be hung after the ceremony. At 6 p.m., Conservancy staff will proceed to install the remaining 358 flower baskets throughout downtown Pittsburgh. The basket staging area, at WPC’s First Avenue and Grant Street community garden, will be a great photo and video opportunity to capture all of the baskets for downtown before they are hung.

The hanging baskets are locally grown by Erich Gumto Greenhouses in Renfrew, Pa., and planted with 1,200 white and pink ivy-leaf geraniums, 3,600 wave petunias, 1,200 violet verbenas and 1,200 marguerite sweet potato vines. Inspired by the downtown Pittsburgh program, a number of other local communities also display and fund flower baskets designed and cared for by WPC, bringing the total to 552 baskets.

Since 2005, Laurel Foundation has been the sole sponsor of the hanging basket program. Founded in 1951, the Foundation has funded various WPC projects over the years.

An interactive map of WPC’s garden and basket locations, as well as its other work can be found here:


About Laurel Foundation:
Laurel Foundation was established in 1951 by Cordelia S. May, who served as Chairman until her death in 2005. The Foundation perpetuates Mrs. May’s philanthropic vision, which reflects her Pittsburgh heritage and her desire to preserve and promote the region’s culture, environment, and rich history. Concentrating its grantmaking primarily in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania, the principal funding areas include arts and culture, environment and conservation, vocational education, and community development/ beautification.

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 252,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 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 130 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of about 12,500 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of nearly 10,000 members. For more information, visit

Kristen Blevins
Communications Specialist