A resource inspired by the Biophilic Cities initiative, the Biophilia: Pittsburgh Directory seeks to present an overview of the many biophilic organizations, events, activities and projects in the City of Pittsburgh, in the interest of aiding the public in enhancing their connections to nature and discovering collaborative opportunities. If your organization is interested in being a part of this database, please complete our sign-up form.
Blackberry Meadows Farm
Allegheny County's oldest Certified Organic farm, Blackberry Meadows supplies the region with nutrient dense, fresh, organic produce, seeds and seedlings. The farm also raises pastured and non-GMO meats, and is excited to introduce its new Garden Share program, supplying home gardeners with monthly distributions of seeds and seedlings throughout the growing season.
Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania
The Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania (BSWP) is one of the oldest botanical organizations in the country. Since 1886, its members have met, botanized and served as a resource of knowledge on the flowers of Pennsylvania. Membership in the Society is open to all who are interested in learning about wildflowers.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top six natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature and world cultures.
East Liberty Development Inc.
In order to bring about positive change in the community, East Liberty Development Inc. (ELDI) works in collaboration with neighborhood stakeholders in the areas of planning, advocacy, facilitation and investment. In all of these capacities, ELDI is cognizant of the ways in which it can incorporate green development methods and more green space into our community. In the past, ELDI has collaborated on stormwater projects, LEED building certifications, rain gardens, tree planting and more. As ELDI moves forward, it continues to become more aware of how to consider our environment and enrich it for the good of the neighborhood.
Fern Hollow Nature Center
Fern Hollow Nature Center is a place where individuals, groups and families can come to enjoy the outdoors. This gateway to the area park system provides educational opportunities aimed at helping adults and children understand and appreciate our environment. Since 1997, Fern Hollow Nature Center has been a valuable educational and environmental resource in the community. With over 5,000 visitors each year, the Center provides the community with unique learning opportunities and a wonderful facility for events. Programs are held on the grounds, in the area parks and often in the region’s vast creek system. Programming includes family programs, nature walks, community events and also educational programming for local schools.
Friends of the Riverfront
Friends of the Riverfront (FOR) is dedicated to building and stewarding the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and the Three Rivers Water Trail. FOR seeks to preserve our regional riverfront and water trails to promote a connections with our environment, public health, and conservation of our natural resources.
Garden Club of Allegheny County
Green Building Alliance
Green Building Alliance is a nonprofit organization that inspires the creation of healthy, high performing places for everyone. One of the oldest regional green building organizations, GBA was founded in 1993, was the first U.S. Green Building Council affiliate, and is now a USGBC chapter. Headquartered in Pittsburgh and serving the 26 counties of western Pennsylvania, GBA is a national leader in healthy and high performing buildings, focusing on program innovation and moving beyond buildings to expand our work’s impact on a community scale. Working together with stakeholders, partners, staff, Board and supporters, we strive to create beautiful, healthy, sustainable places in which people are proud to live, work, learn and play.
Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP)
Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) was founded in 1969 by volunteers concerned about air quality in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Since then, GASP has participated on various county, state, and national boards, with stakeholder groups, and on committees involved with environmental policy, occasionally pressing its goals with litigation in order to combat our air quality problems. Through outreach, education and advocacy efforts, GASP has continuously worked to improve air quality, with the hopes of ensuring the human, environmental and economic health of our area.
Grow Pittsburgh's mission is to teach people how to grow food and promote the benefits that gardens bring to our neighborhoods. Its programs are focused around growing food and serve people of all ages. While the benefits of these school, community and production gardens are many, connecting people to the natural world and biophilia is a center point in all of its work.
Growth Through Energy + Community Health (GTECH) Strategies is a nonprofit organization that works with people to transition land use liabilities into community assets and improve the economic, social and environmental health of our communities. GTECH’s programs are focused on providing community leaders with the tools to reclaim vacant land in their neighborhoods, turning these blighted properties into greened spaces where residents can build community and connect with the natural world.
The mission of Hope Grows is to inspire hope through nature while empowering caregivers to seek wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Their model engages the person from a positive, holistic, and restorative sense that connecting with nature and the natural world is therapeutic. Its programs are focused around adapting the garden to fit the needs of those with different abilities which becomes a short break for their caregiver.
Learn Your Land
Learn Your Land is a database and community of naturalists and nature-based organizations in Pennsylvania. Visitors to the site can easily view their areas' wildflower walks, birding events, nature hikes, mushroom forays and more. Learn Your Land produces numerous videos regarding plant and mushroom identification, and conducts video interviews with naturalists in Pennsylvania. Learn Your Land represents the biophilic mission of directly "connecting people with nature" by first connecting nature-enthusiasts with Pennsylvania's naturalists.
Nine Mile Run Watershed
Nine Mile Run Watershed's mission is to restore and protect the Nine Mile Run watershed. Through outreach and education, Nine Mile Run Watershed involves local leaders and volunteers in community greening initiatives to foster a healthy urban environment. The organization operates from the belief that people are inextricably linked with the natural environment, and that even if you never take a walk along Nine Mile Run, what you do in your home and your neighborhood affects the health of the stream and watershed. The goal is to give citizens and elected officials the information and tools they need to make positive changes in the Watershed communities by providing information about key watershed issues, supporting efforts to implement innovative solutions to stormwater problems, and training citizens for ecological stewardship.
The Outdoor Classroom
The Outdoor Classroom is an environmental education facility located in the South Hills of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Its mission is to foster informed stewardship of the environment by highlighting the connection between people and the natural world of Southwestern Pa.
PennFuture works to create a just future where nature, communities, and the economy thrive. We enforce environmental laws and advocate for the transformation of public policy, public opinion, and the marketplace to restore and protect the environment, safeguard public health, and reduce the consequences of climate change within Pennsylvania and beyond.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a great steel and glass Victorian greenhouse, has been inviting visitors to explore the beauty and mysteries of plants since 1893. Today, this history of excellence serves as a platform to demonstrate that people, plants, health, planet and beauty are inextricably interconnected, and that sustainable efforts – ranging from the construction of the world’s greenest buildings to the planting of raised vegetable garden beds in local backyards and the development of education and research programs – are the key to ensuring that these critical interconnections are harmonious, mutually beneficial, healthy and preserved for future generations.
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is Pittsburgh's newest outdoor experience. The garden includes: three miles of groomed trails; a serene lotus pond brought to life after decades of pollution; an enchanting dogwood meadow filled with wildflowers and a rustic gazebo; a shady picnic area; and an historic farmstead featuring a 1784 log cabin, heirloom chickens, and a heritage apple orchard. The Garden provides a place of beauty and inspiration for people to reconnect with nature and each other.
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's mission is improving quality of life for the people of Pittsburgh by restoring the park system to excellence in partnership with government and the community. Projects and programs are conducted with respect for the environment, historic design, and the needs of our diverse region. The Conservancy's vision is a wide appreciation and enjoyment of a sustainable park system whose landscapes, facilities and programming set world standards of excellence.
Steel City Soils
Steel City Soils is a worker-owned cooperative that makes compost for urban farms and gardens from restaurant and yard waste. Their mission is to provide products and services that will help create a profitable market for urban farming in Pittsburgh by creating small-scale, on-farm compost systems which work together with design and operation of urban farms.
Sustainable Pittsburgh (SP) affects decision-making in the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity and environmental quality as the enduring accountability bringing sustainable solutions for communities and businesses. SP carries out its mission through formal sustainability performance programs; professional development and technical assistance; and regional initiatives. Its two primary networks, Champions for Sustainability (for businesses) and Sustainable Community Development Network, help educate and engage decision-makers and in turn elevate understanding of how environmental, equity and economic (3Es) issues cannot be viewed in silos but rather addressed in a system vs. symptom approach.
By encouraging everyone to participate in outdoor recreational activities, Venture Outdoors promotes the Pittsburgh region’s unique natural amenities, highlights its excellent quality of life, fosters a greater appreciation for the environment, inspires an active lifestyle and creates a shared sense of community. Venture Outdoors connects people to the natural environment through day and overnight activities that are social, fun and educational, such as hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved more than 252,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 130 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of about 12,000 volunteers.
Woods of Plenty
Woods of Plenty designs and implements custom plantings to increase food production and biodiversity. Our focus is on native fruiting and nutting perennial species which we integrate into the landscape by mimicking forest ecotypes and their multi-dimensional nature.
Organizations interested in listing local biophilic events and volunteer opportunities on our Biophilia: Pittsburgh Meetup event calendar are encouraged to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and the name of your organization as well as the title, date, time and a brief description of your event.
Select photos © Paul g. Wiegman