PHCA receives Sprout Fund Spring Grant for Knotweed Knockout Initiative

(Above:  PHCA board member and Knotweed Knockout project leader Josie Ramsey speaks to Post-Gazette writer Diana Nelson-Jones after the award ceremony)

This post and images from guest-poster Myra Falisz:

It was one of the most blustery afternoons of December as the crowd gathered at The Union Project in the City’s East End.  The warm welcome and opening remarks were provided by Cathy Lewis Long, Founding Executive Director of The Sprout Fund and Grant Oliphant, President & CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation.

The event was held to announce and acknowledge the recipients of the Sprout Fund’s Spring Program.  The awards, granted to 20 organizations throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, are designed to support local biodiversity initiatives in 2011.  The program is generously funded by The Pittsburgh Foundation, and was created to complement Pittsburgh’s status as North American Host City for the United Nations World Environment Day and the International Year of Biodiversity.  Six organizations received $20,000 awards and 14 organizations received $5,000 awards.

The PHCA was one of the award recipients for its Knotweed Knockout program, created by project team leader Josie Ramsey and team members Leslie Clague and Alexis Miller.

The program will remediate one acre of knotweed-infested City-owned land in Polish Hill, using non-toxic cinnamon oil to kill the knotweed.  The plants and root balls will be removed, and native species will be reintroduced to the site.  The hard part will be in preventing the knotweed from coming back, while encouraging the native plants.  The knowledge we gain through this project will be shared with other gardeners, community groups and environmental organizations.

Congratulations to all recipients!

The Post-Gazette and WDUQ’s blog have also run stories about the Spring Grant awards.