Planting on the Eliza Furnace Trail

 In Air Quality, Blog, Tree Pittsburgh, Trees

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.

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