Over a month has passed since the April 21st clean up event, and the greenspace at Stanton & Woodbine is still looking great! To continue the work that was already started in beautifying Stanton Heights, Michael Sturges of Allegheny CleanWays is seeking a few volunteers to help with ongoing projects. If you are interested in volunteering for any of the opportunities he’s outlined below, please drop him a line: mike.sturges [at] alleghenycleanways.org
Dumpbusters: Stanton Heights. Perhaps the factor that Contributed the most to the high tonnage of the 4/21/12 clean up was the expertise of the DumpBusters program.Developed in 2010 with an Allegheny CleanWays volunteer, this is a year-round program to combat illegal dumping in Allegheny County. A small group of volunteers (anywhere from 1-8 people) go out every day to chip away at dump sites. While they focus primarily on small dumps that are easily eliminated by a small group, they have also tackled the largest cleanup in our Allegheny CleanWays history. The DumpBusters crew can also provide expertise to communities wanting to clean up a difficult site and is “on call” to respond to new dumping incidents. To date, our DumpBusters crew has removed almost 200 tons of debris from the city of Pittsburgh. Our goal for 2011 is to develop additional crews to expand beyond city neighborhoods in Allegheny County. I am proud to say that the additional crew is being started in Stanton Heights. We have 5 volunteers who met in April and May and are looking for at least 5 more volunteers. We are planning to meet on the second Thursday of each month from 5:00 pm until it gets dark to clean up illegal dumps in and around Stanton Heights. Dates for the next four clean ups 6/14/12, 7/12/12, 8/9/12 and 9/13/12. Locations will be sent out one week prior to the clean up.
Urban EcoStewards: Stanton and Woodbine. To ensure that the property at Stanton and Woodbine remains litter free and The Urban EcoStewards program enables volunteers in long-term stewardship of greenspaces that they have cleaned, thereby improving the overall health and natural value of the land. Urban EcoStewards receive one-on-one training on the site they have chosen to steward and attend free group trainings on relevant issues. Training workshops cover such topics as invasive plant identification and removal techniques, wildflower identification, erosion control, native shrub and tree identification, native seed collection, and techniques for leading a crew of volunteers. We plan to meet as needed to address issues at the Stanton Ave. at Woodbine St. site when needed but not more than twice a month. Those interested will be contacted a few days in advance to inform them of upcoming events. If you are interested please let me know as we are trying to schedule an initial training.
Community Composting. Comcast built a compost bin for the Stanton Heights community on the 4/21/12 clean up. Many Stanton Heights community members have been utilizing the compost area for grass clippings already. Over the next few months, we hope to post a set of dos and don’ts on the Stanton Heights blog and put some instructions on the compost area. Before formalizing this, I wanted to see how much interest there is in community composting. Some families are interested in composting grass clippings, leaves and other yard plants for composting and some are interested in composting plant-based kitchen scraps. I am trying to gauge the interest in community composting to see how we should design this program so that it has the best interest of our community in mind.