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Explore Demonstration Gardens - Point State Park Gardens

Posted: January 29, 2016

With thirty-six acres of gardens, woods, lawn, and riverside walkways, Point State Park offers the experience of a natural forest in the City which has more than 3,000,000 visitors each year. It is an especially welcome respite for City residents, with its easy public transit access and connections to regional walking and bicycle trails.
Background-fothergilla, Front-wild geranium

Background-fothergilla, Front-wild geranium

Since 2012, Penn State Master Gardeners have tended the Park’s native plant gardens to help showcase dozens of species that have been growing in our area for hundreds of years. Many were used by Native Americans and colonial settlers for food, shelter, clothing and medicine. Today, these same plants support a variety of essential wildlife.

The Park is alive with color in every season and the gardens are always changing and expanding.

In spring, enjoy the clouds of white and pink blossoms of the lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), the dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii), the dogwood (Cornus florida), the fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus), the Carolina or mountain silver bell (Halesia tetraptera) and the wild geranium (Geranium maculatum). Come back for the colorful pollinator-friendly perennials in summer, followed by blazing fall foliage and striking red winterberries (Ilex verticillata) that make a real show against snow cover.

A newly-constructed bioswale displays native rain garden species and captures more than 80 per cent of storm run-off from highway overpasses, preventing pollutants from washing into our rivers.

Choose a Wednesday morning for your stroll through the Park, spring through fall, and you’ll find Master Gardeners hard at work in the garden beds - and happy to provide more information about the plants in the Park, recommend beautiful native plants for your yard and answer any of your gardening questions. Or find us at the Master Gardener booth at the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival and the Pittsburgh Venture Outdoors Festival.

Make it a day and explore the Fort Pitt Museum and the City’s oldest building, the Fort Pitt Blockhouse; then enjoy the beautiful river views and the Point’s spectacular fountain. Point State Park is a real gem for garden lovers - and for everyone else - right in our own backyard. Make it a point to visit the Point!

Contact Information

Maureen Karl
  • Master Gardener