City of Pittsburgh Celebrates Arbor Day and First City Park Arboretum

PITTSBURGH, PA (April 30, 2021) Today, Mayor William Peduto and the Department of Public Works Forestry Division are honoring Arbor Day by highlighting tree initiatives around the city and announcing that Mellon Park is the first city park to be certified as an arboretum.  

Mellon Park has been awarded a Level I accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum, for achieving and maintaining nationally-recognized standards of professional practices important for arboreta and botanic gardens. Mellon Park is now also included in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.  

“As City Forester, I am so proud to be part of this milestone,” said Lisa Ceoffe of the Department of Public Works. “The love for the trees across our city is rooted deeply. I am happy to be commemorating this event in Mellon Park on Arbor Day.” 

The arboretum certification initiative was a sought in partnership between Friends of Mellon Park, Tree Pittsburgh and the Forestry Division. Mayor Peduto and City Councilperson Erika Strassburger joined these community partners today to present City Council and mayoral proclamations in honor of Arbor Day and the new arboretum.  

“The importance to our community of the beautiful trees in Mellon Park cannot be overestimated:  they are part of an exquisite designed landscape and they are vital to our urban ecosystem,” said Elizabeth Seamans of Friends of Mellon Park. “They provide pleasure to our community all year round – and will soon provide education as well. The attention and protections they are now receiving are a testament to the hard work of many people and Friends of Mellon Park are very grateful to everybody in the City of Pittsburgh who made this day possible." 

The Forestry Division has placed temporary informational banners on trees throughout Mellon Park for the community to learn more about the trees in the park. Park visitors are invited to use Forestry’s self-guided tour brochure, which Pittsburgh Park Rangers will be distributing near the Mellon Park Walled Garden on Saturday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. A virtual tour of the arboretum is also available from Tree Pittsburgh. 

In addition to the new arboretum, the City of Pittsburgh is recognizing Arbor Day by highlighting additional tree initiatives, including: 

  • Pittsburgh’s Tree City USA Certification flag through the National Arbor Day Foundation is waving over the city from Mount Washington for the 16th year. 
  • The Shade Tree Commission has announced the city’s first ever Heritage Tree Registry Program in partnership with Tree Pittsburgh.  
  • Duquesne Light Company and Forestry will be planting 15 trees later today in Highland Park. 
  • Community partners, including Tree Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Friends of the Riverfront and more have planted over 1,000 trees to date in 2021 in city parks, trails and streets, with more planned throughout the spring, summer and fall citywide.  
  • Tonight, the City-County Building will be lit up green for Arbor Day and World Parks Week.  

Additional tree initiatives can be found on the City of Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission’s website and the Forestry Division website



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Molly Onufer
Communications Director
Mayor's Office