Polish Hill Voice – November 2008 edition

The newest edition of the Polish Hill Voice has been released! You can download the new edition in pdf format or stop by the PHCA office at 3060 Brereton Street to pick up a copy. The following article is one of the many articles available in the twelve-page edition. Enjoy!

The Greening of Polish Hill
By Catherine McConnell

You might be getting some new life on your street, but it’s not coming from the party house. With the help of TreeVitalize and the City of Pittsburgh Forestry Division, Polish Hill will be receiving nearly 35 trees.
The importance of planting trees along our streets helps in more ways than just aesthetics. Trees cleanse our air by reducing carbon dioxide levels, help solve water runoff problems, create shade in the summer, buffer noise, provide new habitants for birds, add value to your property and help make our urban community feel more friendly and inviting.
While there are legitimate concerns about planting trees near the sidewalk, TreeVitalize has worked hard to choose special varieties for each location, choosing species which are less invasive, less likely to cause future trouble with underground utilities, sidewalks and overhead wires.
TreeVitalize is a partnership of the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Lisa Ceoffe, our City urban forester, walked the neighborhood last month, inspecting the sites for residents who requested a tree. If Lisa found your site suitable for the current standards, you will find red dots on your curb delineating the placement in front of your house. Lisa assessed the proximity of overhead power lines and underground utility lines at the site of each new tree. Several properties were not eligible for trees because of a potential hazard.
Nearly half the trees will be planted by a contractor working with the City and the other half will be planted by a group of volunteers; however, all the sidewalk cuts will be done by the contractor. The actual tree pit to be cut for each tree will be approximately 3’x10’. The size of the hole is large enough to allow lots of water to penetrate the soil around the tree. Planting flowers or laying impervious material, like bricks or stones on either side of the tree is encouraged.
TreeVitalize divided up the planting so that trees planted on Brereton, Dobson, Hancock and Harmar Streets will be planted by the contractor. Neighborhood volunteers will be needed to plant the trees on the eastern side of Herron Ave.
Our planting day is Saturday, November 15th. We will start at 8:00am and hope to finish by 2:00pm, rain/snow or shine. There will be coffee and bagels early and lunch served too. We are gathering in the vacant lot on the corner of Melwood and Finland. Trees will be planted on Melwood and Bethoven Streets. Anyone interested in participating can call Catherine McConnell at 412-874-3074.
We plan to make this a fun event. There will be a variety of tasks, so not everyone is required to lift and carry heavy objects. We’ll need help handing out supplies to the volunteers, sweeping sidewalks, etc. Don’t hesitate to stop by and see what you can do to help throughout the day. A few hours of hard work will make a long lasting, positive impression in the place we all call home.