Representatives from the Mayor's Office, City Public Works, Animal Control and the South Side Local Development Company were on hand to explain the myriad of cleanup activities taking place locally during the most recent South Side Community Council meeting at the Brashear Center on Sarah Street.
The SSLDC has gotten grants through the URA in recent years to keep sidewalks in the Carson Street business corridor free of litter and debris on a regular basis. Picking up litter has been going on six to seven days a week for the past two years and should continue, according to Geof Comings, manager of business development.
This regular cleanup of the streets encompasses 10th Street all the way to the SouthSide Works as well as the streets surrounding the Market House on 12th Street. Mr. Comings also noted that the SSLDC works with the City's Graffiti Busters crew in cleaning up the blight created by unsavory activity.
Mike Gable, the Deputy Director of the City Public Works Department, outlined the many things the city does to maintain the parks and playgrounds throughout the city, including 13 parks and playgrounds in the South Side Flats and South Side Slopes.
Public Works has maintained the parks and playgrounds since 1993 with a major emphasis on cleaning up litter and emptying trash cans on a regular basis. Mr. Gable also noted the Redd-Up Division of Public Works that goes throughout the city cleaning up vacant lots.
The city has also received funding in recent years for Public Works to hire youth summer works as part of their program called The Student Conservation Association. The program is designed to take youth into parks, wooded slopes and neighborhoods to clear debris and weeds, stabilize and build trails, plant gardens, maintain flower beds and build benches and footbridges.
There was also a presentation at the meeting about the Tree Vitalize program, a private/public partnership dedicated to the task of responsibly and properly planting and restoring tree growth in the city and out-lying areas of Western Pennsylvania.
Tree Vitalize is a joint project shared by the city, Allegheny County, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
For more information on how to sponsor/promote and maintain tree growth in one's neighborhood, go to the Tree Vitalize website at www.treevitalizepgh.org or call 412 586-2396.
Another topic discussed at the meeting was the long-range plans for getting a dog park designated in the South Side. There are only three parks in the city where dog owners can allow their pets to be legally walked off a leash and these places are only on the North Side or East End of town.
It was emphasized by an Animal Control Official at the meeting that pet owners are not allowed to let their pets roam the streets unleashed, even if the pet owner is accompanying their pet. A fine will be levied on those who disobey this ordinance.