The Master Plan
The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden will one day be a world-class botanic garden, including 18 distinct gardens, five diverse woodland experiences, a visitor’s center, an amphitheater for outdoor concerts and performances, a celebration center to accommodate large outdoor or indoor weddings and corporate events, and a center for botanic research.
A master plan for the project was completed in 2002 by the nationally known Pittsburgh landscape architectural firm, Marshall, Tyler, and Rausch (MTR). The plan is based on our Mission and Vision.
The Garden’s site has three flat ridge tops that radiate out like fingers from a central point. Between the ridges are deeply forested valleys, each with a natural stream. Once reclamation work is complete, the main entrance will be off Noblestown Road between Oakdale and Carnegie. There will be a mile-long drive up the central valley through a tree canopy and gardens.
Set at the hub of the ridges, the Visitor Center Complex will be the center of activity and the site’s marketplace: visitor amenities, classes, festivals, food, gatherings, concerts and parties. There will also be an Orangery, a gathering and rental space designed to open up to the adjoining gardens on one side and overlooking the Events Lawn on the other.
The gardens will radiate out from Visitor Center Complex in three directions, representing three central themes: education, display and conservation.
- Teaching Gardens on the Southern Ridge: This will include the first and only Mr. Rogers’ Garden of Make Believe, a Children’s Adventure Garden for older children and Global Gardens featuring ethnic vegetable varieties and an open-air demonstration kitchen showing a variety of ways to cook fresh produce.
- Display Gardens on the Central Ridge: Color, playing water and excitement define these Gardens. There will be a Four Seasons Garden with a stepped canal, a Parterre Garden, Rose and Seasonal Gardens on one axis and to the main pond and Aquatic Gardens to the other.
- Conservation Gardens on the Northern Ridge: The centerpiece of this area will be the Woodlands of the World. Perfect for peaceful contemplation, the Woodlands opened August 1, 2014. Click here for hours and admissions.
The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden’s mission is to inspire people to grow through immersion in a world of natural outdoor wonder to nourish mind, body and spirit.
The Garden is unique among cultural institutions, providing inspiration and education about the quality of life resulting from living in harmony with the earth.
Be a good steward of the land:
- Provide a place of beauty and serenity to reconnect with the outdoors.
- Create an atmosphere of excitement and discovery for all ages.
- Promote sustainable design and judicious use of natural resources.
Raise horticultural standards to the highest level:
- Become a leading source of horticultural information
- Inspire and teaching people to be better gardeners.
- Conduct research to solve horticultural and environmental problems.
Educate about plants, gardening, and the environment:
- Build educational opportunities into all garden exhibits and events.
- Offer education programs for children and adults, gardening and environmental professionals.
- Develop formal programs for educators and researchers.
Foster appreciation of native plants of the Western Allegheny Plateau:
- Build a garden representative of the eco-region and promote preservation of its native plants.
- Work with the Center for Plant Conservation on threatened plants of the region.
- Encourage use of native plants in garden settings