Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project 2021-2022


In 2022, in conjunction with Allegheny County using the information learned from our ongoing park ecological assessments, the Parks Foundation completed a two-year project to support wildlife habitat improvement projects in all 9 of the Allegheny County parks. Trees were planted to provide vertical habitat improvement which provided shelter and food for birds and small animals. Invasive species were removed, and native vegetation added along the banks of lakes and streams which will help to slow stormwater and improve water quality ultimately enhancing habitat for birds, small mammals and fish. Trees to restore the canopy gaps in the forest were planted to maintain wildlife corridors and inhibit the growth of invasive species that can destroy forest cover and wildlife habitat. Mowed turf was converted to native species meadows to improve habitat for pollinators, birds and small animals.

In addition, baseline counts of birds visiting several sites were conducted prior to installation of habitat improvement projects so the sites can be resurveyed in a few yeas to assess the impacts of our projects. Other sites that were previously surveyed years ago, prior to installation of their habitat improvement projects, were resurveyed to assess their success.

Our work included:

  • 2,012 trees and shrubs planted
  • 80 perennials planted
  • 850 live stakes planted
  • 13 acres of pollinator meadow created
  • 3 acres of riparian zones improved
  • 2 acres of tree reforestation
  • 3 avian monitoring sites showing an increase in visits


Parks Specifics included:

  • 13 acres of new meadow and 20 trees planted at Hartwood Acres Park
  • Invasive species removal and 372 total trees planted at White Oak Park along the White Trail
  • Planting of 129 trees and shrubs to continue to rebuild woodland understory at the Waterfall Trail at Settlers Cabin Park
  • Riparian plantings at the beaver pond at Settlers Cabin Park adding 350 trees and shrubs and 400 live stakes
  • Removal of invasive species along the pond edge at Deer Lakes and Harrison Hills Parks, planting of 600 trees and shrubs and 450 live stakes
  • 443 additional tree plantings across South Park, Boyce Park and Round Hill Park
  • Planting of 98 trees and shrubs along the edge of the Mound Meadow and 80 perennials in the ephemeral ponds in North Park


  • Allegheny County
  • Audubon Society of Western PA
  • 300+ Volunteers from:
    • ALCOA
    • Duquesne Light
    • EQT
    • FedEx Ground
    • Friends of South Park
    • Gateway School District
    • Koppers
    • LaRoche College
    • Pennsylvania American Water
    • U.S. Steel


The Allegheny County Parks Foundation raised the funds for this project. Funding was provided by:

  • Peaceable Kingdom Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation