Penn State Center in Pittsburgh to help conserve Civic Arena landscape

The current dismantling of the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh promises to bring the city’s uptown area a new look, as well as a unique opportunity for some local businesses and organizations.

The Penn State Center Pittsburgh, in partnership with the Rosedale Block Cluster in Homewood and Bey Brothers Landscaping in Beltzhoover, plans to salvage plant material from the Civic Arena grounds.

Plans are being finalized for the arena’s on-site vegetation to be deconstructed and put to good use. More than 200 mature plants have been tagged for collection at the site. These plants range in variety and include hollies, burning bushes, viburnum and others.

The plants will be excavated, balled and burlapped, then transported and transplanted. Since they cannot survive the transplanting process without proper methods, the Penn State Center will provide on-site training to ensure the success of the project, as the proper technique is taught to maximize the survivability of the plants.

The goal is to successfully remove the plant material from the Civic Arena grounds, replant it in nurseries located in Beltzhoover and Homewood, and later re-sell the plants from the nurseries or re-use the plants in community landscapes. The plants that do not sell will be strategically planted in vacant lots throughout the Homewood and Beltzhoover communities. Through this project, employment and training will be provided for young people between the ages of 19 and 28.

In addition to providing employment, education and the opportunity for the communities of Beltzhoover and Homewood to take steps toward their business-building process, this undertaking will keep significant material out of local landfills.

Each nursery will benefit by having popular landscape plants in a mature state, and this plant material will help in the promotion of future locally grown plants as consumers become familiar with the two urban nurseries.

This project has been made possible through the efforts of the Sports & Exhibition Authority; Noralco Inc., the demolition contractor; and BNY Mellon, who provided funding in support of the project.

The Penn State Center is Greater Pittsburgh’s gateway to all things Penn State, connecting local needs to the knowledge resources throughout the University system. The Rosedale Block Cluster Landscaping Project has helped to generate fees, create training and employment opportunities for community youth and build valuable relationships both in and outside the community. Bey Brothers Landscaping is a community-based business supporting workforce and community development efforts in Beltzhoover.

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Last Updated November 30, 2011