Pittsburgh, Pa. – April 12, 2024 Residents and visitors to Pittsburgh are beginning to see a display of fuchsia and pink blooms along trails, hillsides, parks and open spaces in view of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers around downtown Pittsburgh, on the North Shore and near Point State Park.

That is thanks to the Pittsburgh Redbud Project, an initiative of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, to help reforest the city’s riverfronts with native trees and shrubs.

A row of blooming redbud trees near Pittsburgh's World War II Memorial and Acrisure Stadium (Heinz Field).The Pittsburgh Redbud Project began in 2016 with the planting of 60 Eastern redbud trees along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail near Acrisure Stadium. Since then, the Conservancy, along with its volunteers and partners, have planted a total of 3,770 trees over 10 spring and fall planting seasons along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail near the Carnegie Science Center, Acrisure Stadium and PNC Park, and on River Avenue along the North Shore Riverfront Trail. In downtown Pittsburgh, several redbud trees line the entryway to Point State Park, Gateway Islands median, and along Grant Street.

Although the native Eastern redbud is the dominant tree species planted for the project, with 1,531 planted to date, cherry, birch, spruce, hophornbeam and hawthorn are among the complementary tree species bringing natural color and wildlife habitat to the riverfronts.

Grandview, West End Overlook and Frank Curto parks also now have Eastern redbud and other native trees in addition to locations on Allegheny Landing, at Station Square and along West Carson Street.

Jeff Bergman, senior director of community forestry and TreeVitalize Pittsburgh at the Conservancy, says the project, which started eight years ago, is helping to beautify and reforest these highly visible areas and encourages the public to visit these locations to see the vibrant blooms of the redbuds.

“The thousands of new native trees and vegetation will also help reduce the amount of stormwater runoff and pollutants entering the rivers, improve habitat for wildlife and help decrease air pollution,” says Bergman. “These benefits will just continue to enhance the city’s tree canopy year after year as the trees become more established.”

The project idea was developed by Frank Dawson, a landscape architect who was inspired by the natural beauty of the redbud tree, downtown Pittsburgh and the popular cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, and has been solely funded by Colcom Foundation. Pittsburgh Redbud Project partners include Riverlife and the City of Pittsburgh.

Bergman adds that through a new partnership with VisitPITTSBURGH, the Conservancy and its partners want to make Pittsburgh a springtime destination to celebrate the spectacular Eastern redbud blooms.

VisitPITTSBURGH has created a new blog, Insider’s Guide: Pittsburgh Redbuds, to help champion the importance and beauty of the trees with tourists and residents.  The blog also contains a user-friendly map that highlights where visitors can find the trees in bloom in physical proximity to hotels and attractions. To learn more about the Pittsburgh Redbud Project, go to WaterLandLife.org/Redbuds.


About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped establish 11 state parks, conserved more than 285,000 acres of natural lands, protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, and assessed thousands of wildlife species and their habitats. The Conservancy owns and operates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and 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 and thousands of trees that are planted with the help of more than 7,000 volunteers. The work of the Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.

Media Contact:
Carmen Bray
Senior Director of Communications
412-586-2358, work