What is Hays Woods?

HaysHays Woods is a 635+ acre woodland on a hilltop overlooking the Monongahela River.  This is the largest undeveloped tract of land in the City of Pittsburgh.   It is located between the community of Hays and Becks Run Road, within 3 miles of the downtown area.   It is larger than Frick Park, the largest of the city parks.   The site contains more than 250 acres  of mature interior hardwood forest patches, which support diverse communities of plants, birds and wildlife.  Hays Woods has served as a de-facto recreational green space for the residents of the surrounding communities for more than 40 years.  A network of trails has developed to support hiking, bird watching, trail biking, cross country skiing, hunting and more.

The forest is privately owned by Pittsburgh Development Group II who propose to develop Hays Woods as a horse-race track, retail and residential complex.  Prior to construction, the forest will be logged and the underlying coal seams will be removed using mountaintop removal coal mining methods.  To level the site for development, the overburden from the mining will be used to fill in 3 wetlands and 5 of the six streams.

Is destruction of the forest the best use of Pittsburgh’s valuable asset, Hays Woods? Once the forest is logged, strip mined and developed it will be lost forever.