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Groundbreaking Held For Pittsburgh's Botanic Garden

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- They are already in major cities all across the country, now Pittsburgh is also getting its own botanic garden.

Ground was officially broken Wednesday morning on the region's first major outdoor public garden.

It'll be tucked away in the Oakdale-Carnegie area, adjacent to Settler's Cabin Park, only seven miles from Downtown Pittsburgh.

"This will be a place for families to come out and enjoy nature, go on hikes, see display gardens and learn more about horticulture, conservation and gardening," said Greg Nace, of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.

There will be 18 distinct gardens, trails, an amphitheater for concerts and a 142-year-old barn will be renovated and made into a welcome center.

The botanic garden will be spread out over 460 acres, land that was covered in strip mines. It will be on the only botanic garden in the United States built on reclaimed land.

Phase one of the project - about 60 acres - is already underway.

There will be hiking and walking paths lined with thousands of trees and shrubs. Volunteers have already been planting. There will also be a spot for events.

"They can come and view the gardens that will surround our visitor's center," said Frank Pizzi, of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. "There will be classes held here, they can have their wedding reception in here, they can have birthday parties here."

People will be able to take preview tours of the site in the fall.

Phase one of the garden is expected to be complete by summer 2013.

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