SUSTAINABILITY COMMUNITY FELLOW
East Liberty Development, Inc.
Main Projects / Summary:
Rain Gardens: The rain garden projects continued into August and there was significantly less work on this project than in previous months; because they’re almost complete! One garden location still needed a new downspout installed at the house. The installation at this property was too tricky for volunteers to implement, so the hunt was on for a professional contractor. After meeting with the homeowner to come to develop a plan, our ELDI co-worker hired his contractor contact. Installation will be in the beginning of September.
I also needed to make sure that every homeowner was registering their rain garden on the Rain Garden Alliance website; ELDI would get invoiced from RGA if the homeowners didn’t do this. They were able to use me as a resource to get through the registration.
Rain garden informational signs were acquired from RGA to put at the homeowner’s gardens to educate passerbys.
Elm Street District: After the big shrub planting on East Liberty Blvd. in July, I took care of the invoice and budgeting in August. A watering plan was developed with Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, and my co-workers and I are out there watering each week.
The next project with Elm Street dollars is tree plantings in the neighborhood. Throughout August, I contacted many people to see if they were interested in trees, or if they would help to get their neighbors on board with them. I wrote a letter and edited a tree form so that block group members could send it out to their block. While some people were easy to contact, a lot of time has been spent trying to follow up with contacts that will not reply; even though I know they are interested.
National Night Out: National Night Out occurred on the evening of August 3rd. The couple days before the event in August was dedicated to last minute planning and assistance for the events. I arranged for Police 5 Bike Patrol officers to visit the sites and for Target representatives to stop by with sidewalk chalk. I got the tables and tents to all of the locations, and I assembled boxes of informational materials on ELDI/East Liberty so that residents could view them. In general, I was a resource for the leaders of these events; I constantly checked-in and made some promotional materials. The events went really well!
Community Day: In August I continued to edit the event flyer as needed. I took on the responsibility of getting food donated for the day. After contacted Councilman Doug Shields office, and many bagel shops, I eventually was awarded donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts! Throughout the month, there were several conference calls and meetings with the Fellows to touch base about our progress. On August 21st, the event day, I helped with set-up, supervised the sign-in table, created give away bags, worked at the Food Forest site, and helped with clean-up/tear-down. We ended up having a nice turn out that morning. Those that volunteers I wrote thank yous to in email, and I wrote hand written thank yous for our partners and donors.