Rivers of Steel - Folk Festival Reunion Party
Rivers of Steel - Gear & Cheer Music Festival
Rivers of Steel - Happy Hour with Carrie
Rivers of Steel - Day of Giving 2016
Rivers of Steel - Rust Belt Food Tour
Rivers of Steel - Great Expectations

The Iron Garden Tour

May 21 at 11:00 AM

"The Iron Garden: History and ecology of the Carrie Furnaces" by Dr. Anna Johnson, ecological researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, in conjunction with Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.

This tour focuses on the diverse, successional plant communities of the site and how human history shapes our urban environment. The tour will focus also on the making of the the Iron Garden plaques, for which the Hunt Institute provided images. These cast iron plaques were placed throughout the site in 2015 as part of a collaboration among artists, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and the Penn State Master Gardeners to highlight the diverse plant life that has recolonized after the furnaces closed. A staff member from Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area will also provide historical context of the site during the tour. 

General admission:  $15

This tour is offered in conjunction with the Hunt Institute's exhibition Great Expectations, which runs March 17-June 30. For more information, visit www.huntbotanical.org

Folk Festival Reunion Party

May 14 at TBD

The Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center presents the third annual Folk Festival Reunion Party.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

449 W. Eighth Avenue
West Homestead, PA 

The Pittsburgh Folk Festival was a major regional highlight for over 50 years, and the Bulgarian Center’s rollicking Saturday night post-Festival party was the most popular event in town. This year the BMNECC is hosting a Folk Festival Reunion party that will bring together an assortment of ethnic groups that participated in the Pittsburgh event through the years.

All past and present Folk Festival members and attendees of all nationalities are invited to come celebrate the many years of warm memories, good friends, amazing food and lively dancing!

The event will feature:

  • Live music performed by various ethnic ensembles
  • An array of favorite Folk Festival foods, including halushki, pierogies, egg rolls, strudels, banitza, and gyuvech.
  • Displays of memorabilia from past Folk Festivals
  • Cash bar
  • Dancing into the wee hours

Plenty of free parking in our private, secure lot.

More details are coming soon!

Gear & Cheer Music Festival

May 7 at 9:00 AM

You are cordially invited to participate in the Ohio River Trail Council (ORTC) Gear & Cheer Spring Festival 5K Race/Run/Walkck climbing wall, auctions, raffles, arts and crafts, live music, food, drink, wine and craft beer tasting!

Saturday, May 7, 2016
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

Where:  John Antoline Memorial Park, 1098 Jackson Ave, Monaca, Pa 15061. GPS: 40.674521, -80.265992

Race fee:  $25

The Ohio River Trail Council is comprised of environmental, educational, government, heritage, trail and outdoor groups primarily from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  The Ohio River Trail Council is a non-profit charitable organization.  All proceeds will be utilitzed to construct the Ohio River Trail.

To register, click here.

Happy Hour with Carrie

May 4 at 6:00 PM

Rivers of Steel presents Happy Hour with Carrie!

On the first Wednesday of each month May through October, enjoy an evening one-hour tour of the Carrie Furnaces site where you will learn about the iron-making process and the impact of the industry on the region and the world. Following the tour, we'll meet for a beer at one of our local partners. We're excited to be partnering once again with Voodoo Brewery HomesteadThe Brew Gentlemen Beer Company and Blue Dust. We also have a new beer partner for 2016 - Duke's Upper Deck Cafe

Tour starts at 6 PM. Following the tour, head over to the brewery/pub for a crafted brew. Food will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 when purchased in advance and include an hour-long Carrie Furnaces Tour and one beer. If a tour date is not sold out, remaining tickets will be sold on-site for $25 per person.

The Carrie Furnaces are part of a former industrial site. Heels and/or open-toed shoes are not permitted. This is an outdoor event. Please dress appropriately for the weather. At this time the site is not wheelchair accessible.

May 4: Voodoo Brewery Homestead

June 1: Brew Gentlemen Beer Company

July 6: Blue Dust

August 3: Voodoo Brewery Homestead - Co-hosted by the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

September 7: Brew Gentlemen Beer Company

October 5: Duke's Upper Deck Cafe

Directions to Carrie Furnaces

Day of Giving 2016

May 3 at 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. on May 3 until 11:59 p.m. -- just 16 hours -- The Pittsburgh Foundation will host its Day of Giving Campaign which benefits non-profits in southwestern Pennsylvania, including Rivers of Steel. This year's campaign is slightly different in that Allegheny County-based non-profits could raise a match pool in advance of the Day of Giving, and Rivers of Steel did just that through the generous contributions of our board and our staff. 

On May 3, we hope you will consider making a donation to Rivers of Steel. When you sign into the Day of Giving, our match pool will be listed on our profile. Your contribution will be matched dollar-for-dollar until our match pool runs out of funds. This year, Rivers of Steel has made incredible advances in many projects and programs. For instance, the Carrie Furnaces have become one of the region's top attractions for tours along with other events, concerts, performances, and arts programming. This year, we completed a major upgrade of the parking area at the Pump House, site of the Battle of Homestead. This upgrade provides safer access for visitors to the Pump House and those who use the lot as a trailhead parking area for the Steel Valley Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage. Rivers of Steel was also instrumental in securing congressional support for a National Park Service plan to consider the journey of George Washington through western Pennsylvania in 1753 as a possible National Historic Trail. Our work at the W.A. Young and Sons Machine Shop and Foundry continued to move ahead as we restore this early 1900s machine shop and blacksmith facility in order to make it a destination in the upper Monongahela Valley. Lastly, our pending acquisition and merger with RiverQuest, the award-winning educational organization that engages students in hands-on learning experiences that develop their understanding and awareness of our rivers' ecosystems. Yes, it has been a busy year!

Each dollar you contribute helps Rivers of Steel advance further in meeting our mission of helping communities in southwestern Pennsylvania rebuild while commemorating our industrial and cultural heritage. We hope you will consider a donation to River of Steel on the Day of Giving on May 3.

General Information:

  • What is the Day of Giving? The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Day of Giving is a 16-hour, online giving event created to increase philanthropy in our region.   The goal is simple – inspire Western Pennsylvanians to come together, show their pride in their communities, and contribute to support the life-changing work of local nonprofit organizations.
  • The Day of Giving will take place Tuesday, May 3rd from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.  Donations will be accepted during this 16-hour period through http://www.pittsburghgives.org/, butlergives.org or westmorelandgives.org
  • How does it work? The Pittsburgh Foundation partners with Kimbia, Inc. (http://www.kimbia.com/) to generate online profiles of participating nonprofits at http://www.pittsburghgives.org/ , searchable by organization name, issue area and/or county.  Online donations can be made to participating nonprofits starting at 8:00 a.m. on May 3rd and an online “leaderboard” will display real-time giving tallies to keep our community up-to-speed on the event.
  • Why Give? Public charities, schools and religious institutions play an essential role across our region – in health, arts, environment, education and social services.  In today’s economic environment these organizations need to accomplish much more with much less.  Gifts made during the Day of Giving will be amplified by incentive prizes for participating nonprofits.

Donor Information:

Who can make a donation through Day of Giving?  Any individual or business can make a credit card donation to a nonprofit participating in Day of Giving.  Encourage your favorite nonprofits to participate.  Organizations are prohibited from donating to themselves.

How can I make a donation? Only MasterCard, Visa, or AmEx donations can be accepted via givingday.pittsburghgives.org. Please note that the Day of Giving is a program of The Pittsburgh Foundation and your credit card statement will read THE PITTSBURGH FOUNDATION.

No donations will be accepted via check, charitable gift cards, pre-paid gift cards, cash, donor-advised funds or stock. Discover donations will not be accepted. The cardholder must make the donation; no donations will be accepted by third parties.

I do not use credit cards.  Can I make payments through Pay Pal or wire the money? No.  Payments must be made through givingday.pittsburghgives.org

What is the minimum gift? The minimum gift per organization is $25.

Please visit The Pittsburgh Foundation's FAQs for additional information. 

Thank you for your consideration, and in advance for your donation.

Rust Belt Food Tour

April 16 at 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM

A Rust Belt Culinary Tour!

In the early 1900s, The Steel Valley of Homestead, Munhall, and Braddock was home to immigrants from around the globe. These thriving towns, once dotted with retail shops, bakeries, backdoor gardens and many a beer hall, fell silent in the '80s when the mills closed, but now are a part of the Pittsburgh-area renaissance. Guests will visit a renovated church hall, a modernized mill bar, and other revamped treasures of the still gritty mill towns to savor culinary delights that reflect the region’s rich heritage as well as its now trendy rustbelt cuisine! This 4-hour shuttled culinary tour provides more than enough food for a meal plus other surprises! Brew stops include Braddock's Brew Gentlemen and Blue Dust Gastropub!

2016 tour dates:

April 16, May 7, May 28, June 11, 
July 9, August 27, September 17,
October 8, October 27,
November 12, December 10

For tickets and additional information, visit http://www.pghtoursandmore.net/Rust-Belt-Food-Tour.html

A portion of the proceeds benefits Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.


Great Expectations

March 17 at 5:00 PM Opening Reception

There is great expectation in the promise and energy held within a bud or a seed, and phases of this continuous cycle of plant development are beautifully illustrated with collection items. Artworks by 36 historical and contemporary artists illustrate their individual observations of intriguing moments of developing stages that may occur over a period of months or even years. 


The opening reception on 17 March (5–7 p.m.) is open to the public. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. the curators will give an introduction to the exhibition.


The exhibition will be on display on the 5th floor of the Hunt Library building at Carnegie Mellon University and will be open to the public free of charge.
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m.;
Sunday, 1–4 p.m. (except 25–27 March, 1 May and 29–30 May).
Because our hours of operation are occasionally subject to change, please call or email before your visit to confirm.

For further information, contact the Hunt Institute at 412-268-2434.


A tour of the landscape around the Carrie Furnaces in Rankin, PA, will be held on Saturday, 21 May, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. "The Iron Garden: History and ecology of the Carrie Furnaces" focuses on the diverse, successional plant communities of the site and how human history shapes our urban environments. It will be led by Dr. Anna Johnson, ecological researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, in conjunction with Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area staff. The tour will focus also on the making of the Iron Garden plaques, for which the Hunt Institute provided images. These cast iron plaques were placed throughout the site in 2015 as part of a collaboration among artists, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and the Penn State Master Gardeners to highlight the diverse plant life that has recolonized after the furnaces closed. A staff member from Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area will also provide historical context of the site during the tour. Please contact Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area (412-464-4020; info@riversofsteel.com; https://www.riversofsteel.com) for more information and to purchase a ticket ($15). Sign up as soon as possible because tour group size is capped at 25 people.


Our annual Open House on Sunday, 26 June (1:00–4:30 p.m.) will include the talk "Forward into the past: The past, present and future of Carrie Furnaces" (1:30–2:30 p.m.) by Ronald A. Baraff, director of Historic Resources and Facilities, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, in which he will discuss how the arts, nature, preservation and aesthetics interplay with the historic at the Carrie Furnaces. Following the talk will be tours of the Great Expectations exhibition and the reading room (2:30–4:00 p.m.). This event is free and open to the public.

Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
5th Floor, Hunt Library
Carnegie Mellon University
4909 Frew Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 



160-inch Mill

160-Inch Mill
The Homestead Works 160-inch Mill was one of the largest plate mills in the U.S.