Pittsburgh Botanic Garden To Grow By 66 Acres With Support From DEP Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Pilot Program
An innovative component is the passive water treatment system installed at the Lotus Pond to remove acid mine drainage in phase 1. The Garden received the 2014 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for this work.
In addition to water quality improvement, work includes removing dangerous highwalls, filling subsidence holes and vertical mine shafts, removing coal refuse piles, and installing a new sludge control system in place. American chestnut trees will be planted in an effort to bring back this all-but-lost native tree species. In short, the location will be transformed.
‘Receiving this funding is extremely important to our planning and preparing for development of the site,’ said Keith Kaiser, interim president of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. ‘It will help us provide the connection between the site’s industrial history and its current role as a public garden, a place of beauty for all.’
The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is located on 430 acres owned by Allegheny County. When plans for the gardens were first envisioned, the location was deemed perfect, with wooded slopes, broad vistas, and four streams. However, because the area had been deep mined in the 1920s and surfaced mined in the 1940s, the location was discovered to have many problems associated with old coal mines.
Phase 1 of the reclamation project began in 2011, and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden opened in 2014. It has since welcomed thousands of visitors from around the region and, when complete, will be one of the largest botanic gardens in the United States.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA, 17120