Left: Mark Fatla, Darlene Harris and Ruth Ann Dailey cut the ribbon and celebrated the new planters on the Tripoli Street Bridge. (Photo courtesy CASGED)

Last week, the Community Alliance of Spring Garden/East Deutschtown made their neighborhood a little more colorful and a little more united.

Planters of shrubs and flowers placed along the Tripoli Street Bridge are the latest installment in a five-year initiative by the CASGED, to brighten up its neighborhood. 

“We exist to try to help bring about the economic revitalization of these two areas,” Ruth Ann Dailey, the CASGED president said. “Greening projects and beautification are an important part of our plan.”

At 5 p.m. last Thursday, City Council President Darlene Harris cut the ribbon to unveil the new planters on the bridge that connects Historic Deutschtown to East Deutschtown. 

“As soon as we contacted [Darlene] and told her about the project she jumped on it,” Dailey said. “In a couple of hours she made sure we heard from every person involved with it, it was so incredible for them to work so fast.”

Mark Fatla, the executive director of the Northside Leadership Conference was also in attendance, along with Ed Graf and the neighbors of the East Allegheny Community Council.

There are now nine new planters on the Tripoli Street Bridge.

Three bright red planters were formally located at Schenley High School were donated by the conservancy along with some shrubs, while the other six grey ones were purchased by CASGED.

With the planters, flowers and a watering contract, the entire project cost about $3,500

The CASGED chose the Tripoli bridge as their landmark for the planters because they wanted to focus on high-traffic corridors that were accessible for their neighbors, Dailey said.

When the middle of Deutschtown was ripped out to clear space for the new highway, the third part was completely demolished.

“In reality we represent the two severed halves,” Dailey said. “It’s symbolic to do the project as a living link to their green plants between the two sides. It’s more inviting and more humane than concrete wastelands.”

Over the years, CASGED has acquired over 50 hanging flower baskets for the commercial strip of Chestnut and Spring Garden Street and completed two additional green up sites on Chestnut as well.

 “When an area looks cared for, that improves the quality of life and attracts new investment, the greening of Tripoli Bridge is the most ambitious and highest impact we have done so far,” Dailey said.