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Allegheny

Tree Pittsburgh opens new $2.6 million campus in Lawrenceville

Bob Bauder
| Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, 5:21 p.m.
Tree Pittsburgh has opened its new campus along the Allegheny River in Lawrenceville near the 62nd Street Bridge.
Tree Pittsburgh has opened its new campus along the Allegheny River in Lawrenceville near the 62nd Street Bridge.

Tree Pittsburgh is firmly rooted along the Allegheny River in Lawrenceville and is preparing to open its new $2.8 million solar-powered campus that includes an education center and large nursery.

The 5-acre facility near the 62nd Street Bridge is “technically open” now, according to the nonprofit’s executive director Danielle Crumrine. She said the facility will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

“If all goes well I hope to be sitting at my desk in two weeks,” she said Thursday while offering a tour of the campus to the media and Pennsylvania State Forester Ellen Shultzabarger.

The education center and offices are housed in a self-sustaining modular building completely powered by a rooftop solar panel array. It was designed Matthew Plecity, an architect with GBBN Architects, for LEED platinum and net-zero energy certifications. All rainfall from the roof will be captured and used to irrigate the nursery.

The building includes a combination education room and event space that is open for rental along with office space a mezzanine with a spectacular view of the river, kitchens, restrooms and showers and a garage.

Crumrine is planning a mini-art gallery in the foyer area that will feature works of local artists. She said the organization will also provide space for an artist in residence.

“A spot like this is certainly a key for us in furthering out partnerships,” Shultzabarger said. “What this spot and what Tree Pittsburgh has done is allowing us to further out mission.”

Tree Pittsburgh has a 20-year lease with the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority, which owns the former site of Tippins Inc., a rolling mill manufacturer and repair company once based in Etna. The organization, which is dedicated to protecting Pittsburgh forests, expects to exceed its 2018 goal of planting and distributing nearly 5,000 trees by year’s end.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, bbauder@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobbauder.

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