South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret Smyka
Contributing Writer 

10th StepTrek planned for 10-10-10


The big news from the May 11 meeting of the South Sides Slopes Neighborhood Association was the date of the 10th Anniversary StepTrek: 10-10-10, that is, Oct. 10, 2010.

Bev Boggio, chair of the annual non-competitive, self-guided walking tour of the Slopes, lead discussion on ideas for the event, SSSNA's largest fundraiser.

A "Gold Route" has been scoped out, she said, comprised of "bits and pieces of prior StepTreks." The route begins in South Side Park.

She will be contacting city officials about three major sets of railings that are down and therefore in need of repair prior to StepTrek.

Ms. Boggio said the StepTrek committee is trying to get a climbing wall for free, and will create a photo collage of walkers over the past nine years, as well as a history of the event.

Two months ago there was talk about staging a "mini-run" doing the StepTrek. But that will not take place this year with all the anniversary festivities taking place, she said.

No theme has yet been adopted for the event.

As October 10 is a bye week for the Steelers, team members will likely go home, and, therefore no one will be available to serve as an honorary chairperson. To a suggestion of trying for Homestead native and quarterback Charlie Batch, Ms. Boggio said it was a possibility.

Another StepTrek idea, she said, is to have shirts made with "10" in different languages to represent the languages of Slopes' residents.

An attendee suggested making the staging area more active. To that end, the number of vendors was increased last year. But there is still a "dead period," when there are few people in the staging area she said, and she is unsure how to remedy that.

Ms. Boggio said a climbing wall, and more vendors, might help. To a question of whether vendors are charged for their booths, she said no.

An attendee's suggestion was contacting a group that arranges hiking excursions to see if they wanted to operate a booth to promote their activities.

Ms. Boggio said at the first StepTrek, ribbons were given to youngsters. One idea for this year is to give bandanas to trekers pets.

Ms. Boggio also said anyone who participated in all ten StepTreks will receive beads or some other remembrance.

Questioned whether realtors pay for a brochure listing of open houses along the routes, Ms. Boggio said the fee is nominal.

Attendees agreed the charge for such a listing should be higher, or more reflective of the sales it could generate for the agent.

Currently, the StepTrek committee meets monthly in volunteers' homes. Those meetings will become twice-a-month starting in July.

If interested in volunteering, email:

The meeting began with board president Brad Palmisiano thanking volunteers for their efforts at the May 8 garden planting.

He said it would be great if a group of neighbors is willing to take ownership of green space.

If someone wants to schedule a clean-up, the SSSNA will provide gloves, bags, and an "SSSNA E-Blast" emailing to potential volunteers.

"We'll also make sure that Public Works comes and cleans up the bags," he said.

An attendee complained about a residence of college students who have torn up a city hillside with their parked cars.

"It looks like a pig sty," she said.

Mr. Palmisiano said to call 911, and that the cars will be ticketed if blocking sidewalks. For any safety issue, he said, call 911.

Misi Bielich, of Councilman Bruce Kraus' office, said to call 911 every day.

Mr. Palmisiano said donations to SSSNA can now be made through PayPal. Click on the "donate" link from PayPal should not be used to register for StepTrek.

The next SSSNA meeting will be on June 8 at the St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center.

The annual picnic will be held July 13 at South Side Park.


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