Program Manger: Lori Gaido Project Dates: Feb 2010 - Dec 2010 Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY FELLOW
Even though the PPC does not host many volunteer events during the summer, I have not run into a shortage of exciting opportunities to keep me engaged in this fellowship. As always, July provided many learning opportunities. From developing my teaching skills to making countless mistakes on a volunteer day, each event helped me learn how to do my job better.
July 6: Carnegie Science Center Summer Camp walk with 18 campers, age 10-12. Marijke and I led this, focusing again on native plants and watersheds through scavenger hunts and journaling exercises. These kids are great. They all have more common sense in nature than the average adult. They give me hope and belief in the importance of environmental education.
July 9: City High School Urban EcoSteward picnic= best day of the month. On this day, each student in the program gave a presentation about the most important lessons they learned through the program and what they took away from it. From a tour of the site to photo collages to a three-part a cappella song, these presentations reinforced that the kids did much more than just show up once a month to work with us. I created certificates to verify their role as “Panther Hollow Watershed Heroes”.
July 12: Led a walk for students from the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Schenley Park. We focused on similar themes to the Science Center walks, but added a longer hike and looked at more native and invasive plants.
July 14: Co-led a Master Plan update edition of the Walks in the Woods program at Highland Park with a member of the landscape architecture firm who created the Regional Parks Master Plan. It was my duty to represent the PPC as we gather feedback on what changes people would like to see in the parks. This was the first time I led this walk in Highland Park, but my previous research on and familiarity with the park enabled me to provide useful info to all who attended.
July 22: Assisted Pat McShea from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History with a group from the Summer Dreamers Academy with which he was working. They visited Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park and I gave a brief presentation on the PPC and SCA, letting them know how they can get involved with each as they enter high school.
July 23-25: Pittsburgh Blues Festival- Prepared and presented outreach materials for the PPC all three days. It’s not every day that outreach involves awesome blues music in the background!
July 27: Last session with the Carnegie Science Center Summer Camp. There were 11 campers, age 8-10. I gave the introduction to the entire activity and led half the campers through the scavenger hunts and journaling activities.
July 29&30: Attended the Urban Ecology Collaborative Education working group meeting at Chatham University with Marijke and many regional educators from across PA, NY, CT, and MA. I met many great people and learned about programs that they use with different aged students to engage them in learning about nature in an urban environment.
July 31: Outreach at the Venture Outdoors Festival- I had a chance to debut a bean bag toss game that I worked on building by myself over the course of this week. It will forever revolutionize every outreach event that the PPC attends.