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The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden’s mission is to inspire people to grow through immersion in a world of natural outdoor wonder to nourish mind, body and spirit.
The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is transforming 460 acres of abandoned mining land--just 20 minutes outside of the city of Pittsburgh--into a world-class botanic garden. Once completed, the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden will be one of the largest botanic gardens in America.
The Garden will be comprised of 18 distinct gardens, five diverse woodland experiences, an enhanced visitor’s center, an amphitheater for outdoor concerts and performances, a celebration center to accommodate weddings and corporate events, and a center for botanic research.
Typical of much of Western Pennsylvania, our site sits atop acres of abandoned coal mines. Unfortunately, the deep mining and strip mining left a host of problems, including highwalls, mine subsidence, and acid mine drainage. We are removing the residual coal and collapsing the mines to reclaim the land and eliminate the acidic groundwater.
Turning a coal mine into a self-sustaining botanic garden fits perfectly with Pittsburgh’s growing "green" reputation. The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden will be the only botanic garden in the United States built on reclaimed land.
The Woodlands of the World will be the first section open to the public. This 60-acre area will offer five distinct woodland experiences and feature three miles of paths traversing charming meadows, stunning ridges, and forested slopes. To date, we have constructed the trails, cleared fifteen acres of invasive species, and planted over 1,500 native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials. A solar powered irrigation system supports the young plants.
The Garden will be unique among cultural institutions, providing inspiration and education about the quality of life resulting from living in harmony with the earth.
GOAL: Be a good steward of the land:
- Provide a place of beauty and serenity to reconnect with the outdoors.
- Create an atmosphere of excitement and discovery for all ages.
- Promote sustainable design and judicious use of natural resources.
GOAL: Raise horticultural standards to the highest level:
- Become a leading source of horticultural information
- Inspire and teaching people to be better gardeners.
- Conduct research to solve horticultural and environmental problems.
GOAL: Educate about plants, gardening, and the environment:
- Build educational opportunities into all garden exhibits and events.
- Offer education programs for children and adults, gardening and environmental professionals.
- Develop formal programs for educators and researchers.
GOAL: Foster appreciation of native plants of the Western Allegheny Plateau:
- Build a garden representative of the eco-region and promote preservation of its native plants.
- Work with the Center for Plant Conservation on threatened plants of the region.
- Encourage use of native plants in garden settings
- Rose Smiechowski
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