Harmar Garden update

Volunteers at the Harmar Garden made a lot of progress yesterday and today, preparing the garden for the upcoming season. On the docket was trimming some trees, gathering windfallen branches, and shredding everything for mulch. The mulch will be spread around the Harmar Garden to serve as a weed killer. Some of the logs that were set aside from clearing will be drilled and used for mushroom plugs. We should see some of those in 2012.

The Harmar Garden is uniquely managed. There are beds that are mutually tended by all members of the garden. These particular beds contain perennial flowers and plants, serving as a green bank for other gardens in the neighborhood. The flowers, (tulips, blacked eyed susans) are planted to protect the garden. One plot is planted with several varieties of herbs as well as catnip for the garden mouser, a charming little black and white cat.

Last year, several raspberry bushes were transplanted to the Harmar Garden, and they are already starting to show signs of taking to their new home. Asparagus, transplanted from the Wiggins Garden, are starting to push up in one of the plots.

Gardening is a slow art, with fruition sometimes taking several cycles. Some of the preparation will only bear, like the mushrooms, after months. Planning and maintaining a garden is a joyful challenge. Many thanks to Green Team members, Paul Bowden and Terry Doloughty for their work today.

Knotweed Knockout!

The Polish Hill Green Team has been working on the details of the Knotweed Knockout during the long dreary months of winter. Now that the sun is shining and the snow has left, the team is gearing up for the beginning of the project.

The encroachment of that pernicious gardener’s scourge, KNOTWEED, has all but crowded out the diversity of plants native to our region. The Gren Team will be experimenting in a lot on Melwood Ave. and the first step will take place with clearing the knotweed from the site. Public Allies will be joining forces with the members of the Polish Hill Green Team on April 22. If you are interested in helping out and would like to learn more about what we are doing with this project, consider stopping by and helping out.

What ~
Knocking out some knotweed.
When ~
Friday, April 22 @9AM
Where ~
At a lot on Melwood Ave. (download map)
Who ~
All of our neighbors and friends are invited!

Next up for the Polish Hill Green Team is flower planting, maintenance and clean up around the garden at Brereton and 30th on May 14. We’ll be working with volunteers from PNC Bank to plant the garden, but would welcome Polish Hill neighbors to help with the planting and the clean up.

Questions about volunteering with the Polish Hill Green Team? Call us at 412-681-1950 or email us at phcapgh(at)gmail.com.

The Egg Tree in Polish Hill

The tree at the corner of Brereton and Dobson has been transformed to reflect the current season. Today, Polish Hill neighbors got together and decorated the tree with brightly colored eggs. It was certainly a beautiful day for it, and the sun is welcome after this long and dreary winter.

Follow this link to find out more about the tradition of the Egg Tree.

Art All Night

Art All Night is entering its 14th year, and they will again be housed at the Iron City Brewery. This is a fun event for all ages, with hands on activities, performances by local bands and many kinds of art.

Due to popular demand, this year’s event will begin earlier to allow for additional children’s activities. Children’s activities from 4 to 8 pm on Saturday will include a community quilt, a dance party with puppets from the Puppets for Pittsburgh lending library, recordings for the HEAR ME project, button making, and much more. In addition to the expanded children’s activities, Art All Night will feature a wide variety of live performances, video, DJ performances, opportunities to create art on-site, and a unique blend of visual art on display for the community over the course of this nearly 24-hour event.

If you’re an artist, Art All Night wants you! The organizers have made it easy for visual artists to participate, with online registration. If you wish to perform, emails for more information were being accepted starting in February. It may be too late for this year, but contact bands(at)artallnight.org. and the band captain will contact you with more details. From the Art All Night site —

Online artist registration is now available at www.artallnight.org. Artists submitting work must show a photo ID during both registration and pickup. All artwork must arrive ready to hang or otherwise be displayed. Onsite registration is on Saturday, April 30, from 10 am to 2 pm, and art pickup is Sunday, May 1, from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

Art All Night encourages experiment, and would love to hear about your ideas. Check the Art All Night FAQs page for more details.

Art All Night Lawrenceville
Saturday, April 30, starting at 4 pm – Sunday, May 1 at 2 pm
Iron City Brewing Company
FREE to attend and FREE to participating artists
3340 Liberty Avenue, near the Herron Ave. Bridge
Art Drop-Off – 10 am to 2 pm Saturday
The Show – 4 pm Saturday to 2 pm Sunday
Children’s Activities – 4 to 8 pm Saturday
Art Pick-Up – 2:30 to 5:30 pm Sunday

Small Business Works

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced a free workshop designed to help small business owners find the resources they need to be successful. “Small Business Works” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, at the Kingsley Association located at 6435 Frankstown Avenue in Pittsburgh. The effort is a partnership among Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, U.S. Small Business Administration, Duquesne University, and Building Bridges for Business. The workshop is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, Pittsburgh Business Times, and Comcast Business Class.

“Small businesses are critical to our region’s economic recovery and success,” said Onorato. “These organizations employ tens of thousands of people directly, and they benefit other businesses through purchasing and investments. Through this partnership, we are proud to provide a resource that can offer strategies and programs to help small businesses grow and encourage new business.”

The event, which runs from, will feature guest speakers and exhibitors, in addition to providing a forum for business owners to network and share best practices. The theme of this seminar is “Tools for Small Business – 2011 and Beyond,” and will focus specifically on cost-efficient resources.

“Small businesses are the lifeline of neighborhood business districts and their success and growth is key to maintaining a livable and vibrant City,” said Ravenstahl. “Through opportunities like this, we hope to help small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success by educating them on the many tools and existing programs that are currently available.”

During the event, attendees will learn more about services, such as the Allegheny County Department of Minority, Women & Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (MWDBE). MWDBE offers many useful services, including the Diversity Business Resource Center, an assistance service and referral center that helps business owners bid on County contracts, as well as the Working Capital Loan Program, which provides short-term capital loans to minority, women and disadvantaged firms that have secured a contract with a local, state or federal government entity.

For more information on MWDBE, visit www.alleghenycounty.us/mwdbe or call 412-350-4309.

There is no cost for registration. For more information on the event and to RSVP, go to www.buildingbridgesforbusiness.org.

Thanks for helping out at the Pierogi Moon Clean Up

The troops were out at 10AM to collect trash around the Polish Hill neighborhood. Most met at the PHCA office to get their assignments, taking a break for pizza at the office. Thanks to all that helped out today, whether you stopped in the office or not. The following sites were addressed —

Apollo Staircase
Dobson/Herron Staircase
Bloomfield Bridge
Brereton St.
Brereton/Herron lot
Paulowna St.

The teams removed a lot of trash from around the neighborhood, you’ll see them waiting for pick up on strategic street corners. If you’d like to get involved in Green projects in Polish Hill, contact us at 412-681-1950 or by email at phcapgh (at) gmail.com. Upcoming is a Knotweed Knockout event on Friday, April 22 and a flower planting event on Saturday, May 14. Watch BLOGSKI for details closer to the date! Many thanks to all of you for all of your efforts.

Thanks to our sponsors

Film crew in Polish Hill

Yesterday was a very busy day here in Polish hill. A group of Point Park University students were shooting a short film at the bus stop on Brereton and Dobson. The film was a directing project, led by Adam Steinsdoerfer and was a short film about a lost bracelet. Staffski hopes that, when the film is complete, she can post a link to the finished short film here on BLOGSKI.

Public Allies in Polish Hill

We have been talking about the Public Allies presence in Polish Hill for several months. In March, the group that has been working in Polish Hill presented their service project to Polish Hill neighbors at a public meeting. The service project took place yesterday, April 8, when 25 Public Allies descended on Polish Hill’s community gardens for a dedicated day of garden preparation at the Wiggins and Harmar community gardens as well as the lot at Brereton and Herron.

Polish Hill residents were on hand at each of the sites to work with the Public Allies. The teams went out in the rain laden, chilly spring day and worked to prepare these community spaces for the upcoming season. The PHCA wishes to extend our gratitude to the Public Allies team that made this day so successful. Hats off to —

Brenda Battad (YWCA), Darelle Dogans (Bethlehem Haven), Sammy Jones (Investing Now), Justin Lamorella (Arthiritis Foundation), Maggie Negrete (Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation), Connor Sites-Bowen (Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank), Madeline Taylor (New Voices Pittsburgh), Kelly Tobias (Union Project), Andrea Zimmer (Bethlehem Haven).

Public Allies is a national organization dedicated to enabling individuals to making a difference in their communities. From their website —

Public Allies is a national movement grounded in the conviction that everyone leads. We believe that everyone can make a difference and can work to inspire more citizens to believe in themselves, step up, and act. Throughout our nation’s history, lasting social change has always resulted from the courageous acts of many, not just the inspiration of the few.

The Public Allies website can tell you more about how to become a Public Ally, or hosting a group within your community. We’ll be posting more pictures from the day, but for now, please enjoy our slideshow —

Peppers is looking for you!

Pepper’s Performance Eyeware, whose world headquarters are located right here in Polish Hill, is looking for people to tag and package sunglasses. The job starts immediately, can be full- or part-time, and the schedule is M-F. Please contact Randy Agonda with inquiries. You can reach him at —

Randy Agonda
Pepper’s Performance Eyeware
3001 Pulawski Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Short dog benefit brunch!

One of our good neighbors, Gina, has a fabulous little dog named Shorty. Shorty, who is one of the best dogs in the world had to spend some time at a vet clinic to save his life. Well, he is back now and so are the Vet bills! Gina is having a benefit brunch to raise some money to pay off some of these bills. Won’t you join her? Honestly, Staffski can attest to the absolute cuteness of Shorty.

Sunday April 10, 2011
10AM – 2PM
3807/09 Melwood Ave