Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Botanic Garden Open for Tours

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Botanic Garden Open for Tours

Article excerpt

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden at Settlers Cabin Park opened for tours with a grand opening celebration Aug. 1 that included a visit from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who called the garden a great example of public-private cooperation.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald also attended, and after all the hoopla associated with the visitors and media died down, the real denizens of the botanic garden took over.

They are the plants, birds, butterflies and other wildlife, which are the main attractions for visitors who turned out last weekend to walk the newly opened trails that have been carved through the first 60 acres of the garden.

Eventually, the botanic garden will encompass 460 acres in the park, which straddles North Fayette, Collier and Robinson.

Tours begin at a tent near a newly paved parking lot. Admission for adults is $9, with a $1 discount for Allegheny County residents and members of the military. Discounts also are available for children and seniors.

Visitors are given a map of the trails and a green wrist band to show that admission has been paid.

The first major attraction on the tour is the Bayer Welcome Center, the former county maintenance barn, which is still under construction and not open yet. The exterior and interior of the barn are being completely remodeled.

Beyond the welcome center, visitors make their way through a field of black-eyed Susans and other wildflowers before entering a forested section where, thanks to the cooling effect of the trees, the temperature drops by about 10 degrees.

Along the trail are interactive exhibits. One is called the Root of the Matter and shows the roots of trees that live in the soil of the forest. Children also can visit a bird's nest big enough for them to sit in to get a sense of what it is like to be fledgling.

A miniature house is tucked into the Bookworm Glen, where children can explore what it would be like to live in the forest. Events are being planned for the house in which young people can listen to eeeeeeeeeechildren's stories read by volunteer tour guides. …

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