The Suffragist Grove was founded in Hartwood Acres Park on August 18, 2020, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. This grove was inaugurated with one ceremonial Tulip Poplar tree. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald helped plant the first tree along with County Council member Anita Prizio and Allegheny County Parks Foundation then Executive Director Caren Glotfelty. Visit the site in the vicinity of the parking lot just beyond the mansion’s Great Lawn.
Work will continue in 2024 with more signage and further enhancements.
Thanks to a generous grant by the Laurel Foundation, we purchased and planted over 6,600 groundcover plants in early fall to help beautify the area for years to come. Species that were planted included creeping phlox, Walter’s violet, Cherokee sedge, eastern star sedge, wild geranium, dwarf crested iris, sensitive fern, Jacob’s ladder, amsonia, heath aster and Virginia bluebells. Visitors to Suffragist Grove may currently see a mulched and tidy area, however, the vision is for the grove to take on a more natural woodland floor look as the plants continue to grow. Everchanging blooms of purple and white, the colors of the Suffragist Movement, will grace the site throughout the seasons to come.
Visible progress has been made in 2022 at the Suffragist Grove by planting trees.
The Allegheny County Parks Foundation Board of Directors approved the conceptual design for the Grove in March of 2021. Work will begin at this site in summer 2021.
On the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, the grove was inaugurated with one ceremonial Tulip Poplar tree.
No one group has a right to the landscape. It belongs to all. And if we preserve and promote natural beauty we are doing something of great value for posterity.
– Mary Flinn Lawrence
The Suffragist Grove and its location were inspired by the beliefs and actions of Mary Flinn Lawrence, who resided in the mansion and sold the land to the County Parks System in 1969. Mary Flinn Lawrence was a suffragist who was involved early in the Allegheny County Equal Franchise Federation (now the League of Women Voters), a delegate to the National Women’s Suffrage Convention and she took part in suffrage parades around the region. In addition to her advocacy, she was the first person from Allegheny County and the second ever woman to serve on the State Forestry Commission in 1920. After Mary had 96,000 pine seedlings planted to help combat soil erosion and restore the health of Hartwood Acres forest in 1927, she became the second largest individual forest planter in the State of Pennsylvania.
Help the Allegheny County Parks Foundation plant a living tribute to the women and men of the past who waged the valiant battle to secure the right for all women to vote and to those of today who are still fighting for the rights of women and all people. Your donation today will expand this grove and serve as a lasting memory to their efforts.
Donations of $250 or more will be recognized on signage at the Suffragist Grove. You can choose to be recognized personally for your contribution or to commemorate someone special who champions women’s rights. Permanent signage will be installed during the final phase of the project.