Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Green Spaces and Gardens

...The Conservancy creates green spaces and gardens, contributing to the vitality of our cities and towns...

Vibrant, healthy communities rich with green spaces, trees and flower gardens do more than brighten our days: they positively impact our quality of life and help to protect our environment. Greener cities and towns enjoy better air and water quality, and they remain attractive places to live – relieving pressure on outlying natural or agricultural areas that could become targets for subdivision and new development. WPC’s Community Gardens and Greenspace program plays an integral role in keeping our region’s communities green, lush and beautiful. In 2008, the program expanded both its reach and its impact.

WPC’s Community Gardens and Greenspace program relies on dedicated volunteers.

Thanks to the dedication and skill of volunteers, the Community Gardens program generated far-reaching results with a small staff in 2008. This program’s volunteer ranks grew to 8,300 – an increase of 56% over 2007. It included 200 groups, such as corporations and small businesses, that participated in the planting and maintenance of WPC gardens. Together, these groups and individuals planted more than 200,000 flowers at 140 gardens in 19 counties. Six of these gardens received community greening awards from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Through a generous grant from the Colcom Foundation, downtown Pittsburgh’s revitalization efforts received a significant boost through more than 400 new planters. Changed seasonally, these planters complement the 400 floral hanging baskets that WPC places downtown each year.

TreeVitalize Pittsburgh was established in 2008

Throughout the greater Pittsburgh region, more than 1,250 new trees took root in 2008 through the new TreeVitalize Pittsburgh initiative. TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is a joint project of Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and is managed through WPC’s Pittsburgh office. The initiative’s ambitious goal is to plant 20,000 trees in the region.

When it comes to strengthening the fabric of our region’s communities, schools play a vital role. WPC’s new School Grounds Greening Initiative was launched in 2008 thanks to a grant from The Grable Foundation. This project will provide greenery to the grounds of all 66 Pittsburgh public schools by 2011. A growing body of research indicates that access to green, outdoor areas helps students learn by improving their ability to focus, reducing stress and triggering creativity.