Little did she imagine that picking up street litter and cleaning a blighted vacant lot in Schenley Heights with a few neighbors in 2009 would lead to her being called “a true neighborhood treasure and model.”
Phyllis Jackson was honored on March 21 with one of the Bob Awards as 2012 Volunteer of the Year at the Clean Pittsburgh Commission’s sixth annual Meet N’ Greet Mixer at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink Lodge.
Other Bob Awards went to Polish Hill as Neighborhood of the Year, South Side Slopes as Most Improved Neighborhood and Bloomfield’s Cats & Dogs Coffee Shop as the Redd Up Zone Adoption Group of the Year. The late Mayor Bob O’Connor’s wife, Judy, and his son, Corey, now a councilman, presented the awards.
The Meet N’ Greet Mixer salutes the 150-person steward network in the city’s 90 neighborhoods. Personalized Steward Certificates of Appreciation were also presented.
Ms. Jackson, a Clean Pittsburgh Steward, reaches out beyond her Schenley Heights neighborhood and its 40 volunteers and participates as a leader in the greater Hill District Consensus Group and the Clean Green Hill group doing Redd Ups, greening and beautification projects. She attended the Mayor’s 10-week Civic Leadership Academy last year.
As the Neighborhood of the Year, Polish Hill was singled out for its year-round Redd Ups, removal of 10 tons of litter from three illegal dumps, special volunteer crews to keep stairs free of litter and snow, creation and maintenance of vegetable and flower gardens and turning two vacant lots into mini parks.
As Most Improved Neighborhood, South Side Slopes volunteers redd up year-round, clean and maintain its world-famous steps, reclaimed South Side Park and created a community garden at Bandi Schaum Field.
Several hundred attended the mixer. Joining stewards and volunteers were city officials, Public Works supervisors and city council members.
The Clean Pittsburgh Commission released its 2012 Annual Report detailing activities involving litter and illegal dumping prevention and cleanups, blighted vacant lots, demolished and shuttered buildings, abandoned car removal, graffiti removal and recycling and green programs.