Panther Hollow Watershed
For more than a decade, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, along with the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, and the City of Pittsburgh, have been working to restore the Panther Hollow Watershed. Continuing this work in 2014, major green infrastructure projects are being installed to continue to heal this important ecological area in the city.
In summer of 2014, installation of a meadow and infiltration trenches between Beacon and Bartlett Streets in Squirrel Hill began. The new meadow and trenches play a key role in reducing the amount of runoff that makes its way into combined sewer pipes.
Read more about our work to restore the watershed:
What is a watershed?
A watershed is the total area of land that drains into a particular body of water. Watersheds are interconnected and nested within one another. The boundaries of a watershed are its highest points.
Panther Hollow Watershed at a glance
The Panther Hollow Watershed is a 300-acre, historic watershed that includes parts of Squirrel Hill, Oakland and Schenley Park. This watershed has a number of unique features:
- Two of the last remaining above-ground streams in Pittsburgh
- Thousands of people live, work and play in this popular area
- An historic lake that will undergo major restoration
- 10% of surfaces are impervious, 45% is lawn, and 41% is forest
- 72 forested acres that greatly benefit a frequently flooded sewershed
The big picture
From top to bottom, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is working to fully heal the Panther Hollow Watershed. To do this, the Parks Conservancy is working with key stakeholders on infiltrating rain water where it hits the ground, creating meadow cover, reestablishing forest canopy, managing invasive plants, and scientifically evaluating the project.
This work not only improves the health and aesthetics of Schenley Park, but also serves as a replicable, best-practice model for restoration work across the region. To produce a holistic watershed plan, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy solicited public input to weave transit, technological, and green infrastructure solutions.