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Fresh Voices 

For our team project, the 2023-2024 cohort of Fresh Voices focuses on the intersection of air quality and green spaces in an urban context. We wanted to highlight the role of green spaces, especially trees, in promoting clean air and how it intersects with related issues, such as urban heat islands and equitable access to outdoor recreation.

Fresh Voices for Clean Air is a year-long youth environmental education program, directed by the interests of the high school students currently participating.

2023-2024 Cohort

Air Quality and Urban  Green Spaces.


Urban Oases - An Overview

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What is a green space?
Green spaces are areas that are predominantly covered in vegetation such as parks, gardens, forest, etc. These spaces are meant for the public and can often be recreational.

Green spaces bring many benefits to communities and the environment. They include: regulating temperature, reducing air pollution, promoting physical activity, community forming, and more.

The Role of Trees

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Partner Profile:
Allegheny Land Trust

We'd like to highlight the work of Allegheny Land Trust, a land conservation nonprofit helping local people save local land in the Pittsburgh region since 1993 to help improve the quality of life for all.

Thank you to ALT staff Sara Klingensmith and Dani Kramer for joining one of our meetings and introducing us to your organization and spaces!


Drawing by Fresh Voices participant Clara

“A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded and that no matter how high we go it is from our roots that we draw sustenance. It is a reminder to all of us who have had success that we cannot forget where we came from. It signifies that no matter how powerful we become in government or how many awards we receive, our power and strength and our ability to reach our goals depend on the people, those whose work remain unseen, who are the soil out of which we grow, the shoulders on which we stand.”

― Wangari Maathai, Unbowed



Upstream Pittsburgh's Urban Forestry Equity Study

"Our community is home to a substantial urban forest that includes all of the trees within the watershed boundaries, from the small sapling in your backyard to the massive trees in Frick Park. These trees, however, are not equally distributed. Some streets lack tree canopy, while others have not only a significant amount of canopy, but a broad range of species as well. The benefits enjoyed by our watershed communities have a huge range based on the location and distribution of our Watershed Urban Forest."

Tree Pittsburgh is an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening and building community vitality by restoring and protecting the urban forest through tree planting and care, education, advocacy, and land conservation.

Grounded (formerly GTECH) Strategies is organization founded in 2007 through research on the economic impact of vacant land. Grounded uses the process of reclaiming vacant and underutilized land as a platform for engagement, education, and building trust among communities.

A non-profit organization founded in 1996, the Parks Conservancy works closely with the City of Pittsburgh under an official public-private partnership agreement.

The Forestry Division within the Department of Public Works mission is to provide prompt, efficient, and safe delivery of arboricultural services to City of Pittsburgh residents.

One Tree Planted makes it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. They aim to restore forests, create habitat for biodiversity, and make a positive social impact around the world.

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