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$1M DCNR grant to support urban park, trail and tree projects in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s parks, trails and trees will get a major boost thanks to a $1 million grant from Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

Announced during this week’s 2008 Urban Parks conference—which drew 600 attendees from around the world—the funds will support the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Regional Trail Corporation and TreeVitalize.

“Green spaces make cities places where people want to live, and they really can be economic drivers,” says Christina Novak, with DCNR. “Our grant rounds are competitive. We always have more requests than funds available.”

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will use $250,000 to restore historic trails and bridges in Frick, Highland, Schenley, and Riverview parks. The funds will also support the installation of new signage designed to increase accessibility, identify key park features and enhance visitor experience in the four urban parks. Meg Cheever, president and CEO of Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, says that the grant will allow the nonprofit to complete much-needed repairs, improve drainage infrastructure and reduce soil erosion along trails in the four urban parks.
The Regional Trail Corporation received $500,000 to help construct 1.3 miles of the Great Allegheny Passage. The project, part of a 30-year effort to complete the trail's last section through the Mon Valley, includes a new bridge that will cross over an active rail line. With a $250,000 grant, the City of Pittsburgh will partner with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Allegheny County to increase the region’s tree canopy via its TreeVitalize program.

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Writer: Jennifer Baron
Source: Christina Novak, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Photograph copyright Brian Cohen


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