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Mt. Lebanon wants to be designated a municipal arboretum

More than a century ago, planners in Mt. Lebanon recognized the value of preserving and planting trees throughout the municipality, and now officials are hoping to parlay that foresight into an official designation as a municipal arboretum.

The municipality is applying for accreditation as an arboretum from ArbNet, a nonprofit organization that recognizes towns, parks and other areas for promoting and conserving the tree canopy.

“This is a great fit for our community to highlight the importance of trees,” said Elaine Kramer, a member of the municipality’s parks advisory board.

She and other board members thanked the commissioners, who voted unanimously Monday to support the application with the Illinois-based accreditation program.

To qualify, the municipality must have at least 25 species of trees, a tree-maintenance plan and public education programs. There are four levels of accreditation and, if accepted, Mt. Lebanon would join only a handful of towns throughout the U.S. that have the official designation.

The parks advisory board is in the process of identifying trees in public areas, such as parks and parklets, Ms. Kramer said. The relatively small area of Spalding Circle, near the Crestview Manor neighborhood, contains 17 species of cataloged trees.

“Our goal is to identify trees in all of our parks,” said Ms. Kramer, who said information about each variety of tree would be available on the municipal website once the application is completed, which is expected to be in September.

Commissioner Steve Silverman credited planners with recognizing the importance of conserving trees during the early 1900s, when the municipality was being developed. As a result, the local tree canopy includes many older, mature trees.

“It’s an unusual designation,” Mr. Silverman said of the accreditation. “I’m optimistic that we’ll get it.”

He said the municipality continues to value trees, and in 2016, it budgeted about $438,000 for forestry-related services, such as trimming, planting and pruning local trees. The accreditation will not cost the municipality any additional funds.

If Mt. Lebanon attains accreditation, Ms. Kramer said, she hopes it will help educate local residents about the importance of the natural landscape.

“We would use an arboretum plan to highlight the value of trees, to educate the community and to diversify the urban tree canopy,” she said.

Also Monday, the commissioners:

• Accepted grants from the state Department of Transportation to improve traffic poles and signals at intersections, including Bower Hill and Kelso roads, Castle Shannon Boulevard and Anawanda Avenue, and Cedar Boulevard and Morgan Drive.

• Recognized newly appointed assistant fire chief Sean Daniels, 48, who was promoted to the position in May and has been with the department for 12 years as a career fire officer and for three years as a volunteer.

• Voted to enact an ordinance that would require that the seven-member traffic board be comprised of at least one resident from each ward.

• Appointed John Evans to the historic preservation board to fill a term expiring March 31, 2019, and Noelle Conover to a position on the library board expiring March 31, 2018.


Mount Lebanon Named Best Suburb To Live In Pittsburgh

Filed Under: Pittsburgh, Suburbs

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Photo Credit: traxlergirl/Thinkstock

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh has some great neighborhoods to live in and now the list of the Burgh’s best Burbs is out.

According to a new list, Mount Lebanon is Pittsburgh’s best suburb to live in for 2016.

That’s according to Niche which ranks suburbs in cities all across the country.

Rounding out the top 5 best suburbs in the Pittsburgh metro was McCandless Township, Aspinwall, Leet Township, and O’Hara Township.

List: Top 10 best neighborhoods to live in Pittsburgh for 2016.

Niche says the rankings are based on crime, public schools, cost of living, job opportunities, and local amenities.

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Here’s a look at Niche’s top 10 best suburbs for 2016.

  1. Mount Lebanon
  2. McCandless Township
  3. Aspinwall
  4. Leet Township
  5. O’Hara Township
  6. Franklin Park
  7. Edgeworth
  8. Sewickley
  9. Ben Avon
  10. Edgewood

If you’d like to see where your suburb ranks, click here.

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