Carnegie, Heidelberg and Scott are all going to become a bit greener thanks to grants from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy through its Tree Vitalize program for tree planting.
Heidelberg has been approved for 21 trees, Carnegie for 25, and Scott is applying for 25. Scott already received a Tree Vitalize grant for trees planted in Scott Park.
The trees are valued at about $200 each.
Heidelberg manager Joe Kauer said the 21 trees will be planted Oct.20 along Route 50 and will have an impact from day one.
"The trees are already mature. We won't have to wait years for them to grow. Tree Vitalize has arborists and foresters who select the trees and they are very knowledgeable," he said.
Tree Vitalize will coordinate the plantings and supply tree stakes, ties and mulch.
"This project will compliment the on-going Route 50 streetscape project, by allowing the borough to basically tree line the east side of West Railroad Street," he said.
Carnegie also will receive shade trees from Tree Vitalize on Nov.10.
They will be planted along the parking lot on West Main Street near the Carnegie Volunteer Fire Department, beside the parking lot on Chartiers Avenue and along Mansfield Boulevard.
The Carnegie Shade Tree Commission, formed last year to help beautify the borough, submitted the grant application and recently requested another 50 shade trees for next spring to be planted throughout the borough.
The project calls for improvements to Route 50 in Heidelberg, Carothers Avenue in Scott, and Third Street in Carnegie.
Plans include a linear park in Heidelberg, as well as new sidewalks, benches and decorative lighting in the three communities to create an urban boulevard effect.
"The street plan shows trees in all three towns," Mr. Kauer said.
Scott manager Denise Fitzgerald said the township is applying for 25 trees this fall to be planted in the spring along Carothers.
Tree Vitalize, a project of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, is dedicated to planting 1 million trees in Pennsylvania in five years.
Its mantra when it comes to urban trees is "the right tree in the right place," to avoid mistakes often made by municipalities when they plant street trees in spots too small to enable them to thrive, or plant trees that will grow too large for the available space.
As part of the grant approval process by Tree Vitalize, municipalities must commit to maintaining the trees, especially for the first three years.
They host a day-long "Tree Tender" workshop in Pittsburgh for municipal workers and volunteers to learn about tree maintenance and they request at least four representatives from each municipality attend the workshop for every initial grant awarded.
Heidelberg mayor Kenneth LaSota, councilman John Duda, council president Ray Losego, public works foreman Mark Turnbull and resident Riley Duda all attended a recent workshop to ensure that Heidelberg's public trees are properly cared for, Mr. Kauer said.
He added volunteers are needed Oct.20 to help with the tree planting and he said the borough is ready with a 300-gallon water buffalo to keep the trees watered.
Those interested in volunteering can call the borough office: 412-276-0363.
Bob Podurgiel, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org