Tree Pittsburgh builds new, sustainable Education Center and campus

 In Blog, events, Heritage Nursery, News

Today, Tree Pitts­burgh announced plans to expand its reach through­out the com­mu­ni­ty and increase its capac­i­ty to deliv­er more trees. If you’d like to help us reach our $2.6 Mil­lion goal, donate to our Grow­ing for the Future campaign.

Joined by May­or William Pedu­to, sup­port­ers, and part­ners, the envi­ron­men­tal non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion revealed that it will grow its Her­itage Nurs­ery and build a brand new Edu­ca­tion Center.

We are ‘putting down roots’ at our new loca­tion, where we’ll be able to expand our tree nurs­ery oper­a­tion to bet­ter sup­port local tree plant­i­ng efforts,” said Danielle Crum­rine, exec­u­tive direc­tor, Tree Pitts­burgh. “In light of our recent find­ings that the Coun­ty is los­ing tree canopy, we quick­ly jumped to action. We are tak­ing bold steps to bol­ster local efforts to grow our urban for­est and acti­vate oth­ers to contribute.”

The Her­itage Nurs­ery was estab­lished on three vacant lots in North Point Breeze in 2011. In response to a grow­ing demand for tree plant­i­ng and for­est stew­ard­ship across the Coun­ty, Tree Pitts­burgh worked with part­ners to begin a plan for expan­sion of the nurs­ery in 2015. The new Her­itage Nurs­ery sits on a five-acre vacant area along the Alleghe­ny Riv­er direct­ly under the 62nd Street Bridge.

We love that Tree Pitts­burgh chose a loca­tion right on the river­front for the expan­sion of their nurs­ery and their new Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter, and that the project will pro­vide pub­lic access to the riv­er,” said Vivien Li, pres­i­dent and CEO, River­life. “This admirable exam­ple of envi­ron­men­tal and river­front stew­ard­ship will spark excite­ment for con­tin­ued sus­tain­able river­front devel­op­ment in Pittsburgh’s future.”

The plan for the expan­sion of the tree nurs­ery, which is the for­mer site of Tip­pins’ Steel Mill, includes installing infra­struc­ture for up to 100,000 tree seedlings. A new green­house and four high tun­nels have already been built on the site with plans for grad­ual expan­sion in the com­ing years.

Tree Pittsburgh’s new Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter build­ing is designed to achieve LEED Plat­inum and Net-zero Ener­gy cer­ti­fi­ca­tions. The build­ing will oper­ate from 100% solar pow­er thanks to spon­sor­ship from Green Moun­tain Energy’s Sun Club and the Pen­elec Sus­tain­able Ener­gy Fund. Also, 100% of rain­fall runoff will be col­lect­ed from the roof, thanks to a grant from the Pitts­burgh Water and Sew­er Author­i­ty, to irri­gate the land­scape. The build­ing, designed by GBBN Archi­tects and built by Jen­do­co Con­struc­tion, will house Tree Pittsburgh’s staff offices, but will also serve as a space for the com­mu­ni­ty of all ages to engage in vol­un­teer and edu­ca­tion­al activ­i­ties and learn about the impor­tance of trees, begin­ning with an edu­ca­tion­al camp for local kids this summer.

Our tree canopy is a crit­i­cal piece of urban infra­struc­ture that con­tributes to our qual­i­ty of life as well as the envi­ron­men­tal and eco­nom­ic health of our com­mu­ni­ties.  We need orga­ni­za­tions like Tree Pitts­burgh to engage the pub­lic in tree plant­i­ng and stew­ard­ship so that our canopy can mature and deliv­er those ben­e­fits for gen­er­a­tions to come,” said May­or William Pedu­to. “Not only that, their new Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter is a great exam­ple of how we can use our river­fronts to teach and inspire the pub­lic to care for our nat­ur­al resources.”

The Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter will be com­plete in July and Tree Pitts­burgh will host an open house for the com­mu­ni­ty in Sep­tem­ber. Plant­i­ng in the nurs­ery has already begun and will con­tin­ue through­out the spring. It is Tree Pittsburgh’s goal to dis­trib­ute and plant 4,000 trees across Alleghe­ny Coun­ty in 2018 to help grow the city’s tree canopy.

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