We need your eyes!

Collapsed signWhen working together in our parks, the Parks Conservancy and City often place informational and instructional signs near work sites.  These signs may explain a project (like a meadow restoration or trail reconstruction) or even warn visitors of potential dangers.  Unfortunately, these signs are often disregarded, removed, knocked over, or otherwise defaced.  When this happens it creates a hazard for those unaware of the potential dangers or leaves visitors uninformed of the improvements we are making. 

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a regular park user and sensitive to the condition of park amenities.  We could use your help.

If you find yourself in a park and come across a sign that is in need of attention, please feel empowered to correct it (if it is as simple as standing up a temporary sign, for example) or to notify us.  You can e-mail details us at info@pittsburghparks.org, or call us at 412-682-7275.  Leave a message in the general mailbox if you reach us after business hours.  Please include enough information so that we know where and when you saw the item that needs attention. 

Eagle Eyes in Schenley Park

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer image courtesy of David Cappaert, Michigan State University

We’re not just interested in signs–we welcome feedback about any park amenity that needs attention if you see something out of place.  Or, as was the case with one particularly observant park user last week, if you see evidence of an invasive species that could cause substantial damage to the park.

Last week someone contacted us to say that they believed they saw the beginnings of an emerald ash borer infestation in Schenley Park.  These invasive insects have been responsible for the death of tens of millions of ash trees since they were first detected in the United States in 2002.  Up until now, the EAB had not been detected in the regional parks.  Following the park user’s observation, our Director of Park Management and Maintenance, Phil Gruszka, accompanied City Forester David Jahn and park foreman Dick Wilford to Schenley Park to assess the trees along the Lower Panther Hollow trail.  The bark did appear to show signs of the D-shaped emergence holes that EAB leaves when it exits the tree. 

EAB emergence holes

D-shaped emergence holes image courtesy of Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service

This week, you may notice crews in Schenley Park removing patches of bark from several trees.  The City Forester will be sending bark samples to a lab to test for the presence of EAB.  While we certainly hope this is a false alarm, Phil and others have been monitoring the parks’ trees for several years now with the thought that it was only a matter of time before the beetle was discovered.  We’ll keep you posted–and you do the same!  If you see something you think might indicate the presence of emerald ash borer, please let us know using the contact information above.

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