Mayor Ravenstahl's May newsletter

Dear Neighbors,

With the smell of spring flowers filling the air these days, many of us are focusing on what we can do to help improve the environment. We celebrated Earth Day and Arbor Day with festivals, clean-up events and by planting trees. But with these yearly events over for another year, we must continue to “think green.”

With that in mind, the City of Pittsburgh has created our first Green Guide, a tool to help you take advantage of the environmental resources that are available in our community all year long. This directory-style guide provides information on how to live more sustainably. The Green Guide includes information on:

* How to properly dispose of paint, household chemicals and motor oil;
* How to get an energy audit of your home;
* How to obtain a permit to install a solar panel;
* How to purchase and install a rain barrel; and
* How to get involved in volunteer activities like tree planting, litter clean ups and river trail maintenance.

To save on resources, the Guide has been made available electronically at Citizens who do not have internet access can call 311 to obtain a copy.

Pittsburgh has been chosen as the North American host city for the United Nation’s World Environment Day (WED) on June 5th. This honor is a testament as to how far our City has come in terms of environmental protection, and the continuing efforts to become a more sustainable city. More than 65 events are already planned and I encourage all residents, especially those in the inner city, to take advantage of the events during the weeks leading up to WED.

Many of the events planned will be one-of-a-kind. ORSANCO will bring its 200 gallon fish tank, filled with water and fish from our three rivers. In an attempt to break the world record for the largest flotilla of kayaks and canoes, downtown Point State Park will highlight the final WED event, “Paddle at the Point.” To date, the record is 1,105 canoes and kayaks. Imagine, if you can, this flotilla rowing on the Allegheny, the Monongahela and meeting at the Ohio.

For more information on World Environment Day, please visit for the complete list of events as well as contact information for getting involved. Once known as the “Smoky City” – filled with black soot and bad air, Pittsburgh now the Black and Gold and GREEN City – boasting showcase lawns, clean, fresh water and air and is a national leader in green building. Pittsburgh continues to exceed all expectations – and we’re just getting started.

Luke Ravenstahl
Mayor, City of Pittsburgh