Bridge at Panther Hollow, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from KitAy’s photostream

Panther Hollow Run, Phipps Run, and Panther Hollow Lake not only comprise a beautiful recreational area — they are part of the Panther Hollow Watershed — an ecologically important component of one of the largest sewer sheds in Pittsburgh, the Four Mile Run Watershed. Panther Hollow Run and Phipps Run join just above Panther Hollow Lake which drains into underground pipe. The pipe also carries the the Four Mile Run stream and all of the water eventually drains into the Monongahela River.

Panther Hollow Watershed Map, from Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy flyer

This watershed only gets water from stormwater pipes — there’s no sewer overflow. This is, of course, a benefit to the lake and the citizens of Pittsburgh who enjoy it. However, the watershed does suffer from increased urbanization. Additionally, there are other ecological problems such as “invasive and non-native plants, soil erosion, elevated soil nitrogen levels, increasing deer populations, loss of tree canopy, and deferred maintenance of storm pipes.”

Ecological restoration was necessary and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the City, the Department of Public Works and many volunteers have made great progress in that direction over the past ten years. The Conservancy has also developed partnerships with local universities and agencies to track the state of the watershed. But, more needs to be done.

You can attend a community meeting in September that will be part of the overall watershed planning process. You’ll also get to preview pilot restoration project designs created by the chosen design team that will be installed in the park next spring. Anyone interested in water, parks or their community is welcome to attend:

September 8, 2011, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh
Levinson Hall B
5738 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15217

The Conservancy asks that you please sign up if you plan to attend by using the registration form on the Pittsburgh Parks website (click here), or by calling 412-682-7275, ext. 205.

Panther Hollow, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from michaelrighi’s photostream