Interior Sec: Garden Inspires Young Conservationists

  • U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell speaks at the opening of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Photo: Ashley Murray

  • A cob dragon and nature discovery spots are meant to inspire children to explore nature at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Photo: Kara Holsopple

August 1, 2014

Pittsburgh's new outdoor Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is getting a high profile visitor as it opens today. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell came to town to cut the ribbon on the garden and to inspire what she called the next generation of conservationists.

Jewell's department worked on the project. 

“The Department of the Interior was proud to partner with private individuals, businesses, and all levels of government from across the spectrum to leverage our collective resources and expertise in this long challenge to convert these lands into a community asset for all to enjoy,” she says.

When fully complete, the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, located 20 minutes west of Pittsburgh's downtown, will include 18 distinct gardens, five diverse woodland experiences, an amphitheater for outdoor concerts and performances, an event center and a botanic research facility. The Department of the Interior has launched a Youth in the Great Outdoors initiative to inspire young people to play, learn, serve and work outdoors.

Jewell spent time with volunteers and youth from a local summer program who will use the garden as a tool to teach and learn about land conservation. One of the goals of the garden is to create educational opportunities for kids, adults and environmental professionals.  Once completed, the botanic garden will be home to teaching gardens, a global garden with ethnic vegetables and a demonstration kitchen as well as a research center and nursery.  The center will be seeking volunteers to monitor trails and will offer internships in landscape architecture, horticulture and photography.