Leaf a beautiful mark on Uptown

Photo by Judy Macoskey

Last year, the Mt. Lebanon Partnership enhanced the beautification of Uptown Mt. Lebanon in a huge way by overhauling the Uptown Planter Project. What was once an effort for individual volunteers to maintain their assigned planters became a more cohesive project, which tied together all of the Uptown planters under one overall landscape design.

Photo by Judy Macoskey

The Partnership receives a $2,000 grant from Gateway Engineers every year to help cover the costs of plants and other materials, but in 2016, the Partnership also received assistance from Wild Rose Landscaping & Design, the only credentialed sustainable landscaping company in the South Hills. Wild Rose donated its services to inspect the planters and create a design for Uptown that focused on sustainable plants and considered factors such as traffic, hardiness and salt resistance.

“Volunteers could still use their creativity, but the plants recommended by Wild Rose helped us to achieve that cohesive look,” says Rebecca Wanovich, President of the Board of The Mt. Lebanon Partnership and leader of the Uptown Planter Project. “I think it turned out pretty well … It helped that we were able to tell the volunteers that they would be getting help and advice. And plants!”

Each year, individuals, groups or organizations can sponsor a planter, meaning they have accepted responsibility for planting and regular maintenance throughout the season. All of the planters have been claimed this summer, but the community is welcome to lend a hand to the initial planting event, called the “planter blitz,” which is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, from 9 to 11 a.m., rain or shine.

Most of the sustainable plants thankfully survived the winter, so there is less work to be done than there was at the 2016 planter blitz. Projects for this year include laying mulch, which is donated by the municipality, planting annuals and replacing any shrubs that have not held up through the years. For example, the juniper bushes lining the sidewalk outside the municipal building were hit hard by recent polar vortexes, so they will be replaced by sustainable rhododendrons that are colorful even when not in bloom.

Another addition this year is signage. Small signs will be installed on each planter to remind people not to litter and to recognize the planter’s sponsor. Here are the Uptown Planter Project sponsors for 2017:

Location Sponsor
725 Washington Rd (near Uptown Coffee): Uptown Coffee
713 Washington Rd (near Mineo’s Pizza): Touchstone Pilates
711 Washington Rd (near Bistro 19): Bistro 19
701 Washington Rd (near Howard Hanna): Howard Hanna
701 Washington Rd (in Clearview Common): Mt. Lebanon Shoe Repair
701 Washington Rd (in Clearview Common): Eden’s Market
Drinking Fountain: Fountain provided by Accessible Lebo
693 Washington Rd (near Victorian Manor): Victorian Manner/Little Manners
677 Washington Rd (near Good Orthodontic): Business Referral Network
665 Washington Rd (near Simple Greek): Cub Scout Pack #228
659 Washington Rd (near La Pomponee): Diane Mohr/Enriching Journeys
633 Washington Rd (near Christian Science Reading): be. Salon
615 Washington Rd (near Façade): Barbara Butler Woods/Barson Dev Co
603 Washington Rd (near Fluhme Glam Bar): Eric Milliron
600 Washington Rd (outside Rolliers): Rolliers Hardware
620 Washington Rd (outside PNC): Wild Rose Landscaping & Design
642 Washington Rd (near Quest Diagnostics): Denise & Glenn/Salon Vivace
650 Washington Rd (near Cyclops Building): a caring resident
656 Washington Rd (near A’Pizza Badamo): Mt.Lebanon Republican Women
666 Washington Rd (Outside Stevenson Building): Stevenson Williams Company
670 Washington Rd (Outside Jade Grille): Phipps Master Gardeners
696 Washington Rd (Outside DiNardo’s Candy): DiNardo’s Candy
710 Washington Rd (curbside by Municipal Building): DarkWaters Metal
710 Washington Rd (directly outside Municipal Building): RebeccaWanovich/Pierson & Scott Ins.

The Partnership prefers that the community volunteers for the planter blitz register ahead of time by clicking here. However, if you wake up to a gorgeous, sunny day next Saturday, May 6, and decide to head to Uptown to offer your assistance, it will be gratefully accepted. “If they show up, they will be put to work,” says Wanovich. “Just remember to bring your gardening gloves.”