Pittsburgh Redbud Project
The Pittsburgh Redbud Project is an exciting initiative of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy funded by Colcom Foundation. The project launched in 2016 to plant thousands of flowering Eastern redbuds and complementary native trees on trails, hillsides and open spaces in downtown Pittsburgh in view of the city’s riverfronts.
Imagine celebrating early spring in Pittsburgh with the vibrant purple and pink colors of native redbud trees lining the city’s trails, promenades, hillsides and open public spaces along the three rivers in downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Redbud Project will advance this effort with the planting of more than 1,500 trees along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers to date. The idea was developed by Frank Dawson, a Pittsburgh-based landscape architect. Frank observed that, “In early spring, when the landscape is still varying hues of brown and grey, the last vestiges of winter, you sporadically come upon the delicate burst of pink of the redbud tree, dappling the tree line.” The main goal of the Pittsburgh Redbud Project is to introduce bursts of spring color to downtown Pittsburgh’s three rivers through the planting of thousands of native redbud trees.
Simply put: Redbuds are beautiful, flowering trees and are among the first trees to bloom each spring! Flowering occurs before the trees' leaves form. Flowers are usually pink, but can have either white or purple foliage. Some wildlife feed on redbud seeds and bees use the tree’s flowers for honey production. Evergreen trees will also be planted along with the redbuds to provide tree diversity and encourage tree health.
Every good project starts with great collaboration. Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is the managing partner for the Pittsburgh Redbud Project with Riverlife and the City of Pittsburgh as collaborating partners. This project is funded by Colcom Foundation in recognition of the foundation’s 20th anniversary.