PITTSBURGH, PA (February 22, 2021) Mayor William Peduto today announced a $50,000 investment from the Trust for Public Land to start up the Greenways Stewardship Program, which will be piloted in the 183-acre Hazelwood Greenway. This grant will support a partnership with the City of Pittsburgh and its commitment to the Trust’s 10 Minute Walk to Safe and Accessible Green Space Challenge.
"In Pittsburgh we proudly advocate for the preservation and growth of our public parks and open spaces. To date, 87% of Pittsburghers live within a 10-minute walk to a park in their neighborhood. I proudly support the ’10 Minute Walk to a Park’ campaign as we work towards our goal of providing all Pittsburghers access to equitable, economically thriving, safe, and healthy communities,” said Mayor William Peduto.
This initial investment for the Hazelwood Greenway will pilot a program for stewardship groups to access resources needed to create safe, high quality, natural community assets that also can withstand and provide protection from Pittsburgh’s changing climate. The Hazelwood Greenway Stewardship Group and the Hazelwood Initiative will work with the Department of City Planning and other City departments to engage the community to determine how to invest resources through a platform of support options, including those leveraging resources from City operations and staff.
The project will add capacity to volunteer groups, allowing stewards to focus on the greenways instead of seeking funding and bearing administrative burdens. The City’s Greenways 2.0 Plan calls for financial investment in the system and the creation of a network of stewardship groups. The Greenways Stewardship Program will be replicable throughout the Greenways Network with demonstration of success and additional funding sources.
The City developed the Greenway Network in 1980 as a tool to consolidate abandoned properties, mostly along steep hillsides, and establish a permanent conservation easement for public use. Volunteer stewardship groups maintain the 1,200-acre citywide system with little capital resources. The Trust for Public Land investment is a first of its kind for Pittsburgh’s Greenways. Overtime, the stewardship of these properties has become overwhelming, with persistent issues of dumping, invasive species, and poor ecological health and safety. The pilot project will identify ways to cultivate additional resources for greenways and build stronger connections between communities and nature. The ONEPGH Fund will administer the grant.
The first engagement session is planned for Hazelwood Initiative’s monthly Environmental Development meeting on Monday, February 22, 2021. Planning will take place throughout the winter and the groundwork will begin in the spring 2021. Register here for the Environmental Development meetings.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Read more here.