The Penn State Center — Engaging Pittsburgh is excited to announce the development of the first multi-municipal Shade Tree Commission in Pennsylvania. The Commission is composed of the neighboring municipalities of Baldwin, Brentwood, and Whitehall. The Brentwood-Baldwin-Whitehall Multi-municipal Shade Tree Commission was finalized last night with an affirmative vote from Brentwood’s Council. Dr. Deno De Ciantis, director of the Center said, “We are thrilled about this initiative and look to this as a model for other municipal clusters to explore a collaborative effort to enhance our urban trees. These actions improve our air quality, mitigate storm water events, and enhance the livability of our communities.”
In June 2011, The Penn State Center approached Greg Jones, Executive Director of Economic Development South (EDS), with the intent to establish a multi-municipal shade tree commission. The Center provided consultation to the municipalities to develop the joint commission by means of targeted discussions; provision of templates and language for ordinances; technical details; organizational structure; as well as consultation for a volunteer component. The EDS Environmental committee took it upon themselves to focus on this issue over the course of several months and drafted an inter-governmental agreement which created a Brentwood-Baldwin-Whitehall Multi-municipal Shade Tree District Ordinance. Presentations were made to each of the three councils for discussion and final adoption. Each municipality established their own ordinance in collaboration with the overall shade tree district encompassing all three jurisdictions. Jones remarked, “It has been an absolute pleasure working with the mayors, councilmembers, and residents of these three communities. There is a true commitment to improving our environment while working together across municipal boundaries.”
The Shade Tree Commission will take on the task of restoring and maintaining the three municipality’s tree population enabling each municipality to take advantage of the many benefits trees provide.
The Penn State Center’s mission is to extend the expertise of Penn State to enhance the quality of life, economic vitality and community development of the Greater Pittsburgh area.