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Trees add beauty to Middle Road Park

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Middle Road Park in Indiana Township got a beauty boost this week, even with a few inches of snow on the ground.

Twenty trees were planted thanks to a grant from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) and TreeVitalize.

“It's a definite improvement to the park,” said Township Manager Dan Anderson. “We appreciate the shade tree commission going after these kinds of grants.”

Founded in 1932, the WPC is dedicated to protecting green space. It has conserved more than 233,000 acres in this region.

Its grant partner, TreeVitalize, acts on the loss of trees in metropolitan areas and helps educate residents about environmental stewardship.

Since its inception in 2005, the group has helped plant 20,000 trees in the five-county region.

Anderson said the project cost nothing to the township, other than some hours of labor by the public works department who helped with the planting.

“It cost us nothing and it's done a wonderful job of helping to beautify the park,” he said.

As a stipulation of the grant, a township resident had to volunteer as a “tree tender” and undergo training on how to care for the saplings.

Parks and Recreation Board Chairman Steve Photopoulos will fill that role.

Middle Road Park sits along Red Maple Lane and encompasses 40 acres.

It includes five athletic fields and is heavily used by youth soccer and baseball associations. There also is a picnic pavilion, playground, concession stand and small grove.

Anderson said the committee intends to apply this year for another grant but will need additional volunteers to act as “tree tenders.”

Anyone interested should call the municipal building at 412-767-5333.

Tawny a Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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