Thanks to the volunteers who helped at the neighborhood cleanup!

Today was the Earth Day neighborhood cleanup, and over a dozen Polish Hill residents came out to help clean up streets, City steps, and green spaces all around the neighborhood.

This was the first cleanup of the year, and more are already being planned.  Thanks to everyone who came out — a group of dedicated people working hard for a few hours made a big difference.  Your efforts are appreciated!

(Photos by Allyson Knights)

Call for volunteers: Earth Day cleanup in Polish Hill on Saturday, April 20

Join the PHCA’s Polish Hill Green Team as we tackle familiar territory with city steps, open spaces and along the streets.  Join us at the PHCA office at 3060 Brereton Street at 10 a.m. this Saturday, April 20. Wear sturdy shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.  We’ll provide gloves as well as recycling and trash bags.  There’s a chance of rain that day, but that hasn’t stopped us in the past (see above photo).

We may also take this opportunity to cut some of the vines that are choking and killing trees in so many green spaces.  Since there isn’t much new vegetation yet,  it’s easy to see where the vines are and to get at them.

There will be Earth Day cleanups all over Pittsburgh on Saturday.  Just outside of Polish Hill, in Schenley Heights, they will also be picking up trash, particularly around the City steps up there.  Email here for more information.

Can’t make it this Saturday?  Keep an eye out for these future volunteer opportunities with the Polish Hill Green Team:

May 4  Flower planting at West Penn
This is an annual display sponsored by the Western PA Conservancy. We’ll be meeting at the corner of Brereton and 30th at 9 a.m.

June 15 Love Your Block Event
Tentatively scheduled for a 10 a.m. start, meet at the top of the Dobson – Herron Steps.

Monthly Tree Care
Site maintenance days to keep knotweed away from the roots of the newly planted trees at the end of Melwood.  Tentatively scheduled to start on April 26 around 5 p.m.

For more information on the Polish Hill Green Team, email Green Team leader Valerie Testa.

Polish Hill to host two groups of young people on a busy Saturday

There’s a lot going on in Polish Hill tomorrow — two separate events in which young people will be visiting the neighborhood.

First, a large group of students from the University of Pittsburgh for Pitt Make a Difference Day, is coming to Polish Hill to help do cleanup and maintenance of green spaces around the neighborhood.  The students will be overseen by PHCA volunteers, led by Green Team leader Valerie Testa.  Valerie has been working hard for weeks to plan this event.  If you happen to pass by a group of these volunteers as they’re working, please consider telling them how much we appreciate their help.

In the evening, a group of young leaders in town for the One Young World conference will be welcomed with a community potluck at Lili Coffee Shop.  You may have read about the One Young World conference, which takes place around the world, in a different city each year.  Pittsburgh competed to host the conference, which started yesterday and runs until Monday.  The PHCA is hosting a small group of these young leaders, and we invite you to attend.  The potluck is from 7:00—10:00 p.m. on Saturday — that’s tomorrow evening — at Lili Coffee Shop.  Drinks will be available for purchase from Lili, and it’s free to attend.

If you would like to come and bring something, please get in touch.  For more information, contact the PHCA at 412.681.1950, or email

We are excited to host these two groups of young people who are doing good work in the world — please help us make them feel welcome!

(Top:  Students at the 2010 Pitt Make a Difference day — this year, we’re getting more than twice as many volunteers!  Below:  the One Young World poster design, by Burton Morris)

Volunteers get wet at the Earth Day / Redd Up neighborhood cleanup

Volunteers focused on a few sites for the Spring Earth Day / Redd Up neighborhood cleanup, including Downing Street, where illegal dumping was discovered on Port Authority property, on the pedestrian walkways and the Bigelow Boulevard tunnel, and on the Melwood – Flavian City steps, pictured here.

The final haul:  28 large bags of trash, 9 large bags of recyclables, 9 tires, 1 bike, 1 metal duct fan, 2 cell phones, and some i.d. (looks like this hillside might have been a dumping place for a pickpocket).

Afterwards, volunteers got a pizza lunch, courtesy of West Penn.  Thanks to everyone who came out!

Join us for the Earth Day / Redd Up neighborhood cleanup on Saturday, April 21, 11-2

The second neighborhood cleanup of the year is this Saturday, April 21, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  At this cleanup, we will concentrate on the gateways to Polish Hill, and the City steps.  Volunteers should meet at the PHCA office at 11.  Wear sturdy shoes; we’ll provide bags, gloves, and vests.  For more information, call 412.681.1950, or email the PHCA.

(Above, Green Team volunteer Josie Ramsey at a past neighborhood cleanup.  Photo by Leslie Clague for the PHCA)

Call for volunteers: neighborhood cleanups on Sunday, April 1 and Saturday April 21

The temperatures will be going back down to something a bit more seasonally appropriate, but this is still a good reason to get outside:  the first neighborhood cleanup of the year, which will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 1.  At this cleanup, we’ll concentrate on the main streets in the neighborhood, picking up trash and recyclables.  Meet at the PHCA office, 3060 Brereton, and wear long pants and sturdy shoes.  We’ll provide snacks, gloves and bags.

And if the 1st isn’t a good day for you, the Earth Day / Redd Up cleanup is on Saturday, April 21.  At this cleanup, we’ll do the neighborhood gateways and pick up debris from some of the neighborhood green spaces.  If you have any questions about either of the cleanups, call us at 412.681.1950, or email.

Photos from the dump site cleanup

Polish Hill resident Sarah Koenig worked with Allegheny Cleanways to organize a cleanup of an illegal dumpsite at the end of Melwood Avenue in Oakland, just outside the border of Polish Hill.  Twenty-two people showed up this morning to help, and they spent hours removing tire, old water heaters, and a lot of other refuse from the hillside.

Thanks to everyone who came out on a very cold day!

Help Allegheny Cleanways clear an illegal dump site on Saturday December 10

Join Allegheny Cleanways on Saturday December 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and help clear a recently discovered illegal dumping site just outside the eastern border of Polish Hill.  At the last Allegheny Cleanways cleanup, along Gold Way on November 5th, volunteers cleared a few truckloads of trash, including dozens of tires dumped on the hillside by the tire shop on Bigelow Boulevard.

During the November 5 cleanup, another illegal dumping site was discovered at the very end of Melwood Street, in the block just past Pittsburgh Filmmakers.  This site apparently also has lots of tires.  Volunteers should meet at 10:00 a.m. at the end of Melwood Street in Oakland, and wear old clothes and sturdy boots.  Tools and gloves will be provided.  For more information, email the PHCA, or call us at 412.681.1950.

(Above:  Some of the dozens of tires cleared from the hillside on Gold Way during the November 5 cleanup)

Thanks to all who helped clean up Gold Way!

Earlier today, a group of volunteers gathered to help Allegheny Cleanways and the PHCA clean up Gold Way  The cleanup was organized by Polish Hill resident Sarah Koenig (pictured below), who did a guest blog post last week about the cleanup.  The group picked up a lot of refuse on Gold Way, including (according to PHCA president Terry Doloughty) 90 tires.

Although most of this stretch isn’t actually in Polish Hill, it’s a gateway to the neighborhood.  Due to being a hidden area, it’s also a popular spot for illegal dumping.  Allegheny Cleanways cleans up illegal dumping spots around the region, and has also cleared refuse from a spot in West Penn Park, behind the ball field.

We don’t have the names of all the volunteers who helped, but several were from Polish Hill:  Sarah Koenig, John McClure, Terry Doloughty, Josiah Parkinson, Paul Von Arx, Gina Favano.  There were also a couple of high school students, a gentleman who lives on Gold Way and often cleans up there; and people from Allegheny Cleanways.  We send out thanks to all of you.