Nine Mile Run Greenway Project

Co-Directed by artists Bob Bingham, Tim Collins, and Reiko Goto, the Nine Mile Run Greenway Project (’96-’99) engaged the expertise and concerns of citizens, environmentalists, politicians, historians, urban planners, scientists and engineers in a four-year effort aimed at the transformation of an industrial waste site to a sustainable public green space.

Peter Harnik said in an article for Landscape Architecture Magazine in 2007:
“If Pittsburgh was “Hell with the lid off”, as it was famously called during its industrial heyday, then its River Styx was surely Nine Mile Run.  Polluted into lifelessness, buried in culverts, insulted with trash, gouged by flash floods, and stripped of its floodplain by vast piles of slag, Nine Mile Run was as close to biological death as a stream could get. Today it is the site of the largest urban stream revitalization project ever undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

Through a series of community dialogues, workshops, on-site tours, publications and exhibitions the team affected a change in the community’s understanding of the synergy among environmental, economic and artistic issues. The Nine Mile Run Greenway Project facilitated a complex series of events, which catalyzed and contributed to the environmental stewardship of this area; this led to the formation of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, then to the ecological restoration of the stream, plus the greenway extension/connection between Frick Park and the Monongahela River.

This could not have happened without the support of hundreds of participants, funding organizations and the relationship established with the ‘special projects’ office of the City of Pittsburgh, Department of City Planning that designated the NMRGP ‘stewards’ of the public greenway.

The Nine Mile Run Greenway Project was supported by the Allegheny County Bureau of Cultural Programs, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Pennsylvania State Department of Education, Pennsylvania Streamside Forest Fund, Civil and Environmental Consultants, Inc., Allegheny Land Trust, Ellis School, PA Environmental Council and Duquesne Light Company, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Heinz Endowments.


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