Pittsburgh City Paper
In 2003, Heather Sage, a staffer for environmental group PennFuture, was fighting a new proposal to flatten Hays Woods, a 600-plus-acre urban forest in southeastern Pittsburgh. The property-owner, Pittsburgh Development Group II, wanted to build a casino, horse-racing track, 104-acre “town center” and upscale residential development; Pittsburgh City Council had approved the plan. To provide level ground, PDG also sought to strip-mine the site for coal, and fill stream valleys with the leftover soil.
Groups including PennFuture and the Sierra Club joined residents of the lightly populated Hays neighborhood in opposition; artists organized an exhibition Downtown to publicize the little-known site bordered by East Carson Street, Becks Run Road and Baldwin Borough. Sage wrote at the time that Hays Woods, which looms over the Monongahela River just four miles from the Point, was “a haven for wildlife” and “Pittsburgh’s last and largest undeveloped green space.”... Read the full article