The Stanton Heights Community Cleanup / Comcast Cares Day / Spring Redd Up event was a complete success! Thank you to all who volunteered!
Volunteers: We had 64 community volunteers for the event. That is exactly twice what we had last year. With the 15 Comcast employees, this made a total of 79 volunteers. As a reminder, for every volunteer who showed up this day, we will be getting dollars from Comcast for the future care of this land. Thanks so much to Comcast, Citizen Care and the residents of Stanton Heights for your commitment to this cleanup. A special thanks to all of the crew leaders who led other volunteers—Thanks Jessica Varone, Trillium Reynolds, Craig McCloud, Bridget McNamee and Jenn Sturges. Thanks to Jim Heinrich for leading the litter pick up and for your help with planning, organizing and leading the event.
Clean up statistics: The clean up focused on the Stanton and Woodbine greenspace as well as parts of Woodbine St., Coleridge St., and Christopher St. This day volunteers removed 30 pounds of scrap metal, 6 tires, 44 bags of garbage, and 4 bags of invasive species (Japanese knotweed). All of the debris were left on the intersection of Stanton and Woodbine until DPW picked up Monday morning. We were also able to remove 10 buckets of garlic mustard which will be composted. About 200 vines were removed but left on site. In addition to this, we were able to move 6 tons of concrete from the Stanton and Woodbine greenspace to be recycled. A special thanks to Brian Piekut, Ed Wightman and Don Revell from Comcast for organizing the concrete removal and hauling away the concrete. These stats add to the accomplishments of the last two years with a total of 300 vines, 104 bags of garbage, 60 bags of invasive plants removed, 46 tires, 2.25 tons of mixed unbagged debris and 22 tons of concrete from this site and surrounding streets.
Flower bed: A special thanks to the volunteers who helped to plant the flower bed. Hopefully, these deer resistant and native varieties will do well in this space.
Tree planting: Thanks to The Friends of the Riverfront for donating the three black willow trees and to Comcast for donating the redbud tree to plant.
Storm drains: Thanks to PWSA for donating 125 bottles of water for the thirsty volunteers and for donating medallions for the Stanton Heights storm drains that say, “DRAINS TO DRINKING WATER – DO NOT DUMP”.
We removed less litter and illegally dumped items, but this is because we did such a good job removing it the last two years, and we have not had a lot of return dumping except for a few hundred pounds of concrete and landscaping debris. If we continue to steward this space, we should continue to see a decrease in illegal dumping. Thanks to past efforts, there was noticeably less garlic mustard on the site than the last two years as well.
Urban Ecostewards: A group of Urban EcoSteward volunteers has been working on this greenspace for the last two years to remove illegally dumped items and invasive species. Beverly Stennett, Jennifer Sturges, Trillium Reynolds and her sons should all be applauded for their efforts working up to this clean up. Let us know if you would like to join this group of volunteers in the future!
Staying on top of future dumping: To all Stanton Heights residents, we could really use your help with keeping an eye on future dumping. We need to be vigilant and need to move dumped materials out of the property ASAP so that people realize that we are a community that will not look the other way anymore.
Community composting program: This clean up marks the second anniversary of the Stanton Heights Community Composting Program. It is estimated that in the year 2013, this compost heap has prevented over 30 yards of landscaping debris from being dumped in other locations, which, at other points, has attracted dumping of other forms like concrete and tires—that’s over 15 pick up trucks full of landscaping debris that has been recycled responsibly and sustainably. The compost from this program continues to be available for local residents. Since the closest home store sells 1 cubic foot of compost at about $4 a bag, this is about $1440 in compost donated to the community in 2013! The Stanton Heights Community Composting program continues to funnel landscaping debris and yard waste to prevent dumping in other sites and provides community members with compost to use in their yards.
Concrete: There is still a fair amount of concrete on the site that we need to address. At the end of last year’s clean up, I said that there was about 6 tons of concrete on site to remove. We removed 6 tons this year, and there are still a few tons left. I will say that we have removed about 75% of the concrete on the site.
Thank you, Comcast, for donating breakfast and lunch for the volunteers. Thank you, Leah Thill from Allegheny CleanWays, for the supplies and support.