Pittsburgh – April 26 – TreeVitalize Pittsburgh accepted the 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Allegheny County yesterday during the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s annual dinner and awards ceremony. TreeVitalize Pittsburgh was one of 23 initiatives honored for their dedication to public health and safety, environmental, economic and recreation benefits across the commonwealth.
“It’s an honor to receive the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence this year. TreeVitalize Pittsburgh has been successful over the past 10 years because of the work and support of the project partners, volunteers and funders,” said Jeff Bergman, the Conservancy’s director of community forestry and TreeVitalize Pittsburgh.
TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is a joint project of Allegheny County Parks Department, the City of Pittsburgh, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Tree Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy that first launched in 2008. Since then, the partnership has planted more than 29,000 trees in 73 City of Pittsburgh neighborhoods and 57 Allegheny County municipalities with the help of its partners, community groups and thousands of local volunteers.
The goal of TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is to plant trees to increase the county’s tree cover and biodiversity, improve air quality and the environment, and enhance the quality of life in the region. It accomplishes this by offering forestry expertise, trees, supplies and event coordination for neighborhood groups seeking additional greenery in their neighborhoods.
“DEP received more than 60 applications, which we evaluated for their degree of environmental protection, innovation, partnership efforts, economic impact, consideration of climate change and sustainability, and results achieved,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell in DEP’s award announcement. “It’s an honor to recognize the tremendous impact many Pennsylvanians have in protecting our air, land, and water.”
The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence are open to all Pennsylvania businesses, farms, government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and individuals who have created, or participated in, a project that promotes environmental protection in the state.
“TreeVitalize Pittsburgh has connected thousands of participants and volunteers through community-based tree plantings and tree care initiatives. The Conservancy looks forward to continuing this work for years to come,” said Bergman.
Community groups can apply to receive TreeVitalize Pittsburgh resources during fall and spring planting seasons. Visit WaterLandLife.org/trees/treevitalize-pittsburgh to learn more about upcoming application deadlines.
Funding for TreeVitalize Pittsburgh comes from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Heinz Endowments, Colcom Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVest), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, American Forests and Alcoa Foundation’s Partnership for Trees Program, Allegheny County Conservation District, Home Depot Foundation, People’s Gas, Pittsburgh Pirates and the PNC Charitable Trust.
Photos have been made available courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy: https://we.tl/RPGFia9Pt1
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 to establish 10 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million 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 132 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of about 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.
Kristen Wishon (Blevins)