Part of our mission is not only to make sure that development in Greater Hazelwood includes affordable housing and commercial spaces, but also that it is a beautiful and healthy place to live!
The Hazelwood Greenway
In the fall of 2020, the Trust for Public Land selected the Hazelwood Greenway to participate in its Ten-Minute Walk to a Park campaign which aims to improve equity of park access for historically disenfranchised communities. For 2021, Pittsburgh's ParkScore rating was #21 as 92% of residents live within walking distance to a park. The city received high marks for access and ammenities, but just 34 out of 100 points for acreage and 61 out of 100 for equity. Neighborhoods of color have 27% less park space compared to the city median, while low-income neighborhoods have 30% less park space compared to the city median.
At 183 acres, Hazelwood's greenway was the largest in the city, but inaccessible to many residents due to the degraded trail condition, overgrowth of invasives, and lack of wayfinding signage that meant few residents knew it even existed. Moreover, the forest was in poor health and at risk of being lost as the weight of vines covering the trees and increased rainfall resulting from climate change were causing many trees to fall over.
With additional support from the Office of Councilman Corey O'Connor and Tree Vitalize--as well as our many partners--over two acres of knotweed and Japanese honeysuckle was removed from the area, a new trail was added, the old trail was improved, and nearly two hundred trees were planted during the first year. Intense community outreach efforts that included surveys, meetings, and group hikes helped to increase awareness and use of the greenway and culminated in the Pittsburgh Greenways Partnership Program being named as a finalist in the 2021 Climate Cup Challenge in the climate adaptation category!
In January of 2022, City Council approved outgoing Mayor Bill Peduto's request that the Hazelwood Greenway become an offical city park.
Click here to learn more.
Hazelwood Initiative supports three community gardens in Greater Hazelwood: the Hazelwood Community Garden located behind the former YMCA building, now inhabited by Three Rivers Village School; Everybody's Garden on Lytle Street, and the Glen Hazel Community Garden on Johnston Avenue. Click here to learn more.
ReLeaf Greater Hazelwood
In 2021, Greater Hazelwood became the newest member of Tree Pittsburgh's ReLeaf program. This program aims to improve the beauty, air quality, and climate-resilience of traditionally under-resourced communities by
giving residents free tree saplings to plant in their yards,
educating residents on the the economic and public health benefits of increased tree cover,
planting additional street trees throughout the neighborhood, and
helping residents to become certified Tree Tenders.
The first year of the program was a huge success and we look forward to accomplishing even more this year! Click here to learn more.