Program Manger: Lori Gaido Project Dates: Feb 2010 - Dec 2010 Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY
Sustainable Community Fellow
September ushered in a welcome change in the seasons, which led to an increase in volunteer and education activities outdoors. While August provided me the opportunity to catch up on office work, September gave me the opportunity to do what I enjoy most, which is working with and educating people in the parks. I worked with and educated over 600 people this month through the various PPC activities in which I participated. I feel like I have reached a time in my position where I can talk to, educate and excite anyone about the Parks Conservancy. I am thankful that this position is 10 months long. The continued time to work at one place in one position has provided me the opportunity to develop my abilities and confidence in myself. It has also helped me come to a better understanding of how to work in a team and complement the roles of other staff members to increase the efficiency and success of every event and presentation. Here are some of the highlights from the month:
September 10: Americorps Literacy Volunteer Day- Worked with 43 members of the new Americorps Literacy group in Highland Park. We fixed fencing around trees that were planted this year, watered them, removed invasive vines, built check dams on a hillside, and cleaned up litter.
September 14: Urban EcoSteward training on identifying and removing invasive plants late in the growing season.
September 16: First Aid/ CPR training with PPC staff- I set this up so that we would be more prepared for volunteer days and other public outreach events. We now have nine staff and one volunteer certified in First Aid and CPR/AED.
September 17: National Park(ing) Day- This is a nationwide event where organizations and individuals turn parking spaces into temporary public green spaces. I designed and built a parking space for the PPC that included plant material from the park as a base, potted seedlings, a park-themed bag toss, and info about Schenley Park and Schenley Plaza, which is where I set up our parking space. This was one of my favorite events of the year, as I was entrusted with planning and organizing the logistics and designing the space.
September 18: ALCOSAN Open House tabling- Talked to more people than I could count, though I estimated it was around 350 throughout the seven hour event. It was by far the most exposure we received at one event this year.
September 20 & 21: Watershed education walk with City High 10th graders (about 42 each day)- gave students an introduction to what a watershed is, the role it plays in their lives, and how their actions affect the watershed.
September 22: Habitat Explorers with the Frick Environmental Center- assisted the FEC staff in setting up and running their first grade program where students learned about and explored a meadow habitat. Students from four schools come to Frick Park six times throughout the school year to learn about meadow, woodland, and stream habitats. This was their first visit.
September 25: FontanaFest Tabling- represented the PPC at Senator Wayne Fontana’s festival on the South Side. This is the first tabling we have done in that area of the city, so we reached a new audience and informed them about the PPC and what we do.
September 28: Habitat Explorers- taught students about the exploration and discovery activity. Helped out with both the morning and afternoon sessions.
September 29: University of Pittsburgh’s Day of Caring- worked with 27 Pitt faculty, staff and graduate students to plant and mulch 130 trees and shrubs along the border of the Westinghouse Woods and the Bob O’Connor Golf Course in Schenley Park.
Also, on September 24, I attended the Challenging Marcellus Shale Conference. I learned about the environmental and health consequences, potential threats, and possible solutions for Marcellus Shale Drilling. The keynote speaker, Karl-Henrik Robert, traveled from Sweden for the conference to present on his book The Natural Step, which outlines the framework necessary for sustainable development in businesses, communities, and other projects. Rather than try to give answers to questions that nobody knows the answers to regarding Marcellus Shale Drilling, he outlined how sustainable development is achieved in any scenario. The conference increased my desire to learn more about the issue. It helped me think in a different way about the issues and how to approach them with any person, regardless of their political affiliation or background.