PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the snow flew back in February, there was little left to remember the once 10 million roses a year glory days of the Pittsburgh Cut Flower Nursery.
“It employed a lot of people and grew a lot of flowers for the region, but it’s been sitting here blighted since 1990,” said Rep. Mike Turzai, of Pa. House Majority Leader.
But over the past eight months, the decay of the past has given way to demolition and a major step towards a rebirth, and the Allegheny Land Trust vision.
“Today, you look over the valley with the buildings down and that vision becomes clearer of what a beautiful sight this is going to be,” said Pa. Sen. Randy Vulakovich.
To that end, the legislative leaders arrived with the promise of a half million dollars in gaming economic development funds.
“We’re just delivering a wonderful site back to the community,” said Pa. Rep. Hal English. “I think that’s special; it’s going to have mixed use.”
Of course, the land trust is keenly interested in getting 150 of the 180 acres back to its natural state.
“With meadows, and woodlands, and streams and ponds, and we want to open it up for recreation for fishing, and hiking, and potentially hunting in the future,” said Chris Beichner, of the Allegheny Land Trust.
And where all those roses once grew, Richland Township Manager Dean Bastianini says, “There’s a potential that could be created into a solar farm and generate clean energy. So, there’s a nice symmetry to returning the property that once used the sun to grow great flowers to generate clean energy and jobs today.”
With that energy helping to power some commercial development on the 30 acres of the north side of Bakerstown Road.
There are still a lot of I’s to dot and t’s to cross, and money to raise, but if all goes as the Allegheny Land Trust hopes, the hiking trails and fishing could be available to the public sometime next year.