This month’s Knotweed Knockout event will overlap with the Pitt Make a Difference Day and we may have as many as 21 extra volunteers!
On Saturday, neighborhood residents and volunteers affiliated with PHCA- Polish Hill Civic Association will undertake several tasks:
The plan: Break into Three Teams:
1) Street Cleanup crew: Volunteers will canvas the neighborhood on foot.
– 10-15 volunteers (Two teams)
– Collect debris & rubbish from public spaces!
– Recycle any recyclables
– Mark & 3-1-1 report any unsafe conditions using the “myBurgh” app on their mobile phone:
– Paint over any graffiti with gray cover
2) Monument Team:
– 7 volunteers
– Assist the Monument Committe in several maitenance task
– Handrail rust removal
– Touch up painting
– Plant any available bulbs/seeds we have donated.
3) Community Garden Team:
– 7 volunteers
– Clean out plots and clean any remaining produce
– Lanscaping cleanup of garden beds parallel to Harmar St
– Cold Frame gardening setup…
*) Rain or shine, we’re a go! Buckets of suns-creen for the gingers.
*) Wear heavy boots, high-vis clothing (Jackets provided)
*) Water/hydration will be provided — Bring a reuseable bottle !
*) Rally at the PHCA around 8:30 AM
*) Breakfast snacks & whitty-banter: coffee, croisant, danish, fruit etc.
*) Supplies handout from the PHCA (Bags, gloves, rain gear, etc.)
*) Designate teams (Rocks, paers, sizors – best out of three)
*) Safety Review / keep it classy
*) Off we go! (9:30 best guess )
The PHCA was awarded a City of Pittsburgh Love Your Block grant to revitalize Maly Park, at the corner of Herron Avenue and Dobson Street. One of the requirements of the grant is that we need to bring out at least 20 volunteers. Please come out and help! Even if you can only work for an hour or two, that would be a big help. We’ll be at Maly Park at 10:00 a.m.
Since we hope to have a large group of volunteers this day, we’ll take the opportunity to also do some maintenance at the parklet at Melwood and Finland Street as well.
If there are thunderstorms or lots of rain on May 16, we’ll postpone this volunteer day to May 30. For more info, email email@example.com.
And while we’re on the topic of maintaining green space, here’s a reminder: The morning of Saturday May 16 is also the City of Pittsburgh’s spring yard waste pickup. Leave your bagged or bundled yard waste at the curb before 6:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Here’s more information on what they will and won’t pick up.
With springtime comes the season for green projects, and the need for volunteers to help clean up the neighborhood and maintain green spaces.
On Friday April 24, we’ll be helping Tree Pittsburgh plant 100 restoration trees at the reforestation site on Brereton Street just below 30th Street (this is where the goats were brought in to clear vines last year). A group of corporate volunteers will be coming to help, but it would be great to have some help from residents too. Meet at the site at 10:00 a.m.
And Saturday April 25 is the neighborhood clean up, part of the city-wide Redd Up / Earth Day event. Meet at the PHCA office at 10:00 a.m. We’re also looking for people to lead volunteer teams to clean up different sites in the neighborhood.
Further ahead, on May 16 there will be a workday at Maly Park, at the corner of Dobson Street and Herron Avenue. The PHCA won a grant from the City’s Love Your Block program to help fix up the park. And on May 23, we’ll need help planting flowers in the beds at West Penn Park.
Starting in May, there will be weekly gardening sessions at the Edible Garden at West Penn, which raises produce which is donated to the Jubilee Pantry on Brereton Street. There will also be a monthly workday at the Knotweed project site on Melwood Avenue. For more information on green projects volunteer events, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Above: flower planting at West Penn park, May 2014. Photo by Valerie Testa.)
The Green Committee (aka the PHCA Green Team) is always looking for more volunteers. The committee will have it’s first 2015 meeting at the PHCA office on January 27 at 6:30 p.m. At the meeting, we’ll be discussing goals for this year, scheduling cleanups, and more. (There will probably be snacks, too.) Anyone interested in being involved in green projects this year is encouraged to attend. Please RSVP by calling us at 412.681.1950 or emailing email@example.com.
(Photo: Green team volunteers during a neighborhood cleanup, June 2014. Photo by Leslie Clague)
While we’re on the topic of green stuff, Grow Pittsburgh is again offering a great class for those who are thinking about getting into gardening this year.
A Garden Primer is a 3-part educational series offered in February and March. The class covers all the basics, including which tools beginner gardeners will need, what and where to plant and when to harvest.
The February series is on Tuesdays: February 3, 10 and 17. The March series is on Thursdays: March 5, 12 and 19. Both options are from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and are held at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church on 116 S. Highland Avenue. The course is $50 for Grow Pittsburgh members or $60 for the general public. Free childcare and a limited number of scholarships are available. For more information, email Jake or call 412-362-4769.
Ten hardy volunteers came out on Saturday to tend green spaces and pick up trash on the eastern side of the neighborhood. An earlier date for this cleanup was cancelled due to weather.
Weather was no problem on Saturday — it was brilliantly sunny and very warm. First, volunteers weeded and cleaned up the parklet at Melwood Avenue and Finland Street. They picked up trash and cut vines that were choking trees on the hillside by the Melwood steps.
The next stop was the Knotweed Knockout site, then Gold Way. Volunteers also took the opportunity to clear some vegetation that blocked the sidewalk.
Finally, picking up trash and clearing vegetation on the Apolo steps.
Thanks to everyone who came out to help — it looks great! The next cleanup and green space maintenance day will be on August 9. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that time of year again: time to turn the hillside below West Penn Park into a vibrant display of annual color. The Green Team needs help getting hundreds of these flowers in the ground. This relaxed volunteer event is kid friendly, and it’s a great way to meet neighbors. It’s also satisfying to watch the flowers you planted grow during the season.
Volunteers should meet at 5:30 p.m. on the corner of 30th and Brereton streets. Gloves and tools will be provided. For more information, email email@example.com.
(Above: flower planting volunteers in 2012. PHCA photo.)
If you’re looking to get outside on Sunday, here’s a great way to do that and to help transform the Melwood Avenue gateway to the neighborhood. The Student Conservation and neighborhood volunteers will be will be planting native perennials and getting the site ready for winter as part of an ongoing effort to create biodiversity.
This site has been the focus of a multi-year process to clear an overgrown, knotweed-covered hillside and reclaim the site as a public space. Last year, 25 native trees were planted, and the work continues. For more information on this project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few residents near the border between Polish Hill and Oakland have been planting and maintaining spaces of City land along Gold Way for a few years now. On occasion, City contractors spraying for weed control accidentally sprayed the cultivated areas with weed killer. These mistakes were frustrating for the residents who had purchased plants and bushes and spent hours tending these public green spaces.
Now, the PHCA Green Team, in collaboration with the Department of Public Works , has come up with a new effort to make sure that cultivated areas are not at risk for being sprayed. Polish Hill artist (and PHCA board member) Myra Falisz designed a No Spray sign, with the image of a flower and a butterfly. The DPW sign shop produced the signs. City crews installed the signs last week. The occasion was even marked by an article in the Post-Gazette.
We’re excited about this collaboration and look forward to seeing this area bloom and thrive as an example of what dedicated individuals can to make their community more beautiful.
(Photos by Alexis Miller)
Last week, the PHCA Green Team and a crew from the Department of Public Works installed raised beds at West Penn Park. The beds are a part of the City of Pittsburgh new Edible Gardens Program, an expansion of the Green Up Pittsburgh program. In partnership with the servePGH initiative and the City’s Department of Public Works, Edible Gardens across Pittsburgh will harvest and distribute nearly one ton of produce to at least 200 families in its first year. Partially funded by a $100,000 Cities of Service volunteering grant by Bloomberg Philanthropies to the Mayor’s servePGH initiative, $44,000 is being dedicated to planting 10-15 high-yielding vegetable and fruit gardens.
Below, the DPW crew building the raised planting beds.
Once a vacant property location is selected, volunteers work side by side with the City’s Green Team to create, design and plant produce. Community garden stewards will be responsible for maintenance, weeding, harvesting and distribution throughout the season.
(Photos by Myra Falisz for the PHCA)