Pathway canopy, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Joe Dykes’ photostream

Order in advance of Earth Day recognizes that trees are among Pittsburgh’s greatest resources

PITTSBURGH, PA (April 21, 2017) In honor of Earth Day, Mayor William Peduto issued an Executive Order today calling for new ways to protect City trees, which cover 40% of Pittsburgh’s land area and are vital to the City’s parks, green spaces and quality of life.

The City’s Department of Public Works Forestry Division and the Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission (PSTC) do great work protecting the City’s trees, though at times contractors and developers do not comply with City standards for tree protection. The Executive Order will create a Task Force on Tree Protection that will work to centralize all City tree policies, and make such policies clear for Pittsburgh departments, agencies and contractors alike.

The Order calls for an updated inventory of the City’s street trees and urban forest; a 10-year maintenance and implementation schedule; and a streamlined process to allow the PSTC to make expenditures from their dedicated funds, as approved by the Director of Public Works.

“Pittsburgh’s urban forest, from our beautiful parks to the street trees currently blooming, is one of our city’s greatest natural resources. This order will help us protect it even more so than we are doing now,” Mayor Peduto said.

The Task Force will be chaired by the Mayor’s Chief of Operations and the Chair of the PSTC. Members will include officials from the Pittsburgh Greenspace Alliance; the Department of Public Works; the City Forester (DPW Forestry Division); Department of City Planning; Department of Permits, Licensing, and Inspections; City Law Department; the Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission; Sports and Exhibition Authority; Stadium Authority; Parking Authority; Housing Authority; and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

The Task Force is being asked to develop a manual of tree policies, compel City departments and authorities to comply with tree protection standards, and hold quarterly meetings for up to three years, or when the goals of the Task Force are reached.

Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22.

A copy of the Executive Order is available here.