Environmental stewardship symposium this week


A wide ranging partnership of local organizations involved in environmental stewardship throughout the Pittsburgh region will result in the first Pittsburgh Regional Environmental Stewardship Symposium to be held on Saturday, July 11 at the Frick Environmental Charter School in Regent Square.

Aiming to both educate and invigorate the exceptionally active contingent of area stewards, the Symposium will introduce well known ecologist, Dr. Steven Handel to Pittsburghers.

Steven Handel, Ph.D. is a professor of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University and the Director of the Center for Urban Restoration Ecology, a joint initiative of Rutgers and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He has worked with landscape design teams on ecological restoration in urban areas, including the Fresh Kills landfill and Brooklyn Bridge Park in NYC. His talk will focus on community stewardship efforts throughout the United States and their importance to environmental health and sustainability.

Pittsburgh's commitment to environmental stewardship is broad, and runs the gamut from native habitat restoration to trail maintenance to tree planting and dump site cleanups. Between the seven organizations hosting this event, more than 2,500 volunteers have logged nearly 20,000 hours of volunteer time over the last two years to immeasurably improve the city's natural environment.

According to Ilyssa Manspeizer of the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, one of the event's organizers, "One of the most exciting aspects of this event is to see how broadly Pittsburgh's green revolution is supported by the dedication and commitment of volunteers throughout the region. Wherever you go in Pittsburgh, it is easy to find ordinary people making a real difference to the health of this remarkable city."

Event hosts include: Allegheny Land Trust, Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, Frick Environmental Center, Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, Penn State Cooperative Extension, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, with support from Imagine Environmental Charter School and REI.

There is a registration fee of $10 for existing stewards and $15 for non-stewards. Lunch and child care for those registering in advance is included. Registration is open until Wednesday, July 8. Registration and event details are available at http://www.pittsburghparks.org/stewardship-symposium.


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