View of Pittsburgh from the Three Rivers Heritage Trail

View of Pittsburgh from the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Credit: Allie_Caulfield/Flickr

The “Water Steps” along the North Shore Trail in Pittsburgh

The “Water Steps” along the North Shore Trail in Pittsburgh. Credit: Wally Gobetz

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Key Activities:

  • Planting 2,800 trees across two acres
  • Enhancing an urban forest for the well-being of residents

Project Description:
Partnering with the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh department of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Alcoa Foundation and American Forests are planting 2,800 trees within Pittsburgh to enhance the urban forest.

Why This Project:
Alcoa Foundation and American Forests first partnered with TreeVitalize Pittsburgh in 2011 by planting almost 4,000 trees throughout the city, and this project is a continuation of that work. The partnership in 2013 is focused on planting trees along the city’s North Shore Trail.

The North Shore Trail is a section of the 24-mile Three Rivers Heritage Trail, which runs through Pittsburgh along both sides of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers. This multi-use trail is used by commuters, cyclists, runners, walkers and more. By improving tree cover along the North Shore section of the trail, this project is creating a cooler, more aesthetically pleasant space for outdoor recreation.

Why Pittsburgh:
According to a 2005 street tree inventory conducted in Pittsburgh, there is one street tree for every 11 residents, and in some areas of the city, this statistic reduces even further to one street tree for every 21 people. In comparison, the average number of street trees per person in a survey of 22 metropolitan areas by the U.S. Forest Service was one tree for every three residents. With all of the benefits that an urban forest provides — cleaner air and water, stormwater control, improved recreation and increased property values — Pittsburgh is attempting to increase its tree cover for the benefit and well-being of its citizens.

Interested in the other Pennsylvania reforestation projects in which we’ve been involved? Check out our Pennsylvania Global ReLeaf projects.