Giving Guide: Rivers of Steel

Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel is a community-based nonprofit that strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical and 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

Rivers of Steel’s attractions include three National Historic Landmarks—the Carrie Blast Furnaces in Swissvale and Rankin, the Bost Building in Homestead, and the W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shopin Greene County, along with the Explorer Riverboat, which is docked on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, and the historic Pump House at the Waterfront in Munhall.

The organization is also charged with managing theRivers of Steel National Heritage Area, which celebrates the region’s industrial history,the landscape that fueled it, and the hardworking men and women who made it possible—linking its communities through their shared cultural and industrial heritage. The eight-county region represents the Pittsburgh Industrial District and includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Designated by the U.S. Congress as a place that is nationally significant, the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area is one of fifty-five National Heritage Areas as well as one of twelve State Heritage Areas. In 1996, Congress entrusted the management of this region’s industrial and cultural heritage to the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation, a nonprofit that works in partnership with the National Park Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Through these public-private partnerships, Rivers of Steel supports heritage development, creative placemaking, outdoor recreation, and community collaboration as means to foster economic revitalization and enhance cultural engagement.

To donate to Rivers of Steel, visit riversofsteel.com

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY RIVERS OF STEEL

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