Field Experience Summaries
Pittsburgh Tree Tour - A Comprehensive Look at Pittsburgh's Urban Forestry Strategy
Travel across the City of Pittsburgh with staff from Tree Pittsburgh to see a variety of urban forestry projects aimed at increasing and protecting tree canopy. Meet the non-profit Pittsburgh partners along the way who are working together to make the city one of the greenest in the nation. The tour will stop at various points along the way, including:
- Tree Pittsburgh Community Tree Nursery where seedlings are grown from seed for restoration planting.
- Mount Washington overlook to see the development of the city’s newest park system which includes the eradication of invasive species and reforestation of hillsides in a way that accommodates spectacular skyline views.
- South Side riverfront trail where the focus is trail development and riparian zone restoration, and a historic park on the North Side, Allegheny Commons, where high design and community planning helped to create a park master plan.
Nine Mile Run Restoration Tour
The Nine Mile Run Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration in Pittsburgh’s Frick Park, completed in 2006, is one of the largest and most successful urban stream and wetland restorations in the United States. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) managed the restoration; it is maintained by the City of Pittsburgh in partnership with the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association (NMRWA) and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC). Hundreds of native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers were planted during the initial restoration after removal of acres of invasives, and these activities continue today on a smaller scale. Water quality and the physical integrity of the stream are still threatened today by excessive stormwater runoff from the upper watershed communities, where NMRWA has installed significant green infrastructure to involve and educate watershed residents and foster a healthy urban environment.
Your tour will include a short hike through the restoration area, led by representatives of NMRWA, PPC, and the USACE; and stops in the upper watershed community of Wilkinsburg, where NMRWA recently completed a large tree planting project in partnership with TreeVitalize Pittsburgh, the Borough of Wilkinsburg, and the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation, led by NMRWA and the municipal arborist for the Borough of Wilkinsburg.
Pittsburgh Sustainability Walking Tour
- August Wilson Center (Silva Cell viewing)
- Mellon Square - Mellon Square is Pittsburgh’s original downtown greenspace, and one of America’s first green roofs. This 1955 masterpiece of Mid-century Modernism has been thoughtfully renovated by the non-profit Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh. The Parks Conservancy has updated the planting plan for difficult microclimate conditions, and is using techniques such as tree growth regulators and special root zone mix soils to create a sustainable greenspace.
- Allegheny County Office Green Roof (*this stop is NOT handicap accessible and you must be able to climb a few flights of stairs)
- PNC Living Green Wall
- Highmark Building (Silva Cell viewing)
Pittsburgh River Restoration Tree Tour
Over the last decade Pittsburgh’s riverfronts have become a hub of activity for recreation, ecological restoration, and commuting. Join Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Tree Pittsburgh staff on the Community Forestry Bike Tour. This will be an easy to moderate ride on mostly flat trails and roads. Bikes and helmets will be provided. Please bring your own water.
- Tree planting efforts along the Allegheny and Monogahela riverfronts
- Commercial corridor plantings in Downtown Pittsburgh
- Loop around Point State Park