Planting on the Eliza Furnace Trail
In the fall of 2020, Tree Pittsburgh planted over 180 trees and shrubs along the Eliza Furnace Trail. This planting was made possible through partnerships with Dynegy, the City of Pittsburgh, and the Allegheny County Health Department.
These plants not only serve to beautify a key link of our region’s trail systems, but they also provide community health and well-being benefits. The planting primarily took place on the portion of the Eliza Furnace Trail that is situated between inbound and outbound lanes of the Parkway, meaning the path is subject to significant air and noise pollution.
There are several studies that show a link between trees and reduced air pollution. For example, trees can hold small particles like dust, smoke, and ash on their leaves. This keeps those particles from entering the air, and our lungs. You can read more about trees and air quality in this blog. The Environmental Protection Agency has conducted several studies on the benefits of planting trees along highways, especially when it comes to a reduction of air pollution.
When it comes to noise pollution, trees help in a few ways. In the summer months, the wind rustling the leaves in the trees is a much more pleasant sound than traffic! They also form a “living wall” of sorts to help provide a buffer for sound. The tweets and chirps of birds who make their homes in trees also contribute to muffling the sounds of vehicles next to the parkway.
Of course, one of the most obvious benefits of trees is shade! This portion of the trail is highly exposed to strong sunshine for a large part of the day. As the trees we planted grow, they’ll provide more shade which will provide a respite for users of the trails and create a more pleasant experience for walkers, runners, and cyclists alike.
“Tree plantings in the City will benefit our parks, trails, and other green spaces that are so essential to our community’s health and wellbeing,” says Danielle Crumrine, Executive Director of Tree Pittsburgh.
The trees and shrubs planted along the Eliza Furnace Trail are part of a larger partnership with Dynegy, which will include planting trees in greenways and public spaces throughout the City of Pittsburgh.