Fall foliage flares
To their parks
A Pittsburgh parks haiku
What pulls you to the parks in autumn? This season, the parks are bustling with kids’ events, volunteer days, learning opportunities, and much more. Here’s a rundown of what’s been happening and what’s to come:
What’s been happening
Every October 13th, the Game 7 Gang flocks to Forbes Field to relive Bill Mazeroski’s tremendous home run in the 1960 World Series. Fans young and old dust off their Pirates memorabilia and pull up a lawn chair and head to Schenley Plaza to listen to the original broadcast of the game. We’re happy to report that the game always ends with a “W” for the Bucs!
DCNR Open House
Every five years, states nationwide craft outdoor recreation plans, outlining how they will use important federal funds to maintain and grow programs, policies, and programs. In early October, dozens of Pittsburghers used their outdoor voices at a public open house to give their feedback to help shape Pennsylvania’s new plan. The open house at Schenley Park, hosted by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), was an important step in making sure that Pittsburgh interests are represented. If you missed the open house, you can still give your feedback on the 2014-18 PA Outdoor Recreation Plan by heading this way before October 31st.
Native Plant Propagation Training
The Parks Conservancy, with special guest Kathy McGregor from Sylvania Natives, led a group of parks pals on a gorgeous morning to identify native plants in Frick Park through the Urban EcoSteward program in mid-October. The training took the group through trails to collect small seed samples of the local flora to propagate on their EcoSteward sites or in their backyard habitats. Along the way, the group found sassafras, spice bush, elder berry, hackberry, aster, and much more.
Bump in the Night
Almost 400 kids and adults ventured out to Frick Park after dark this month to meet nocturnal animals, carve jack-o’-lanterns, roast marshmallows, sing with Dr. Boo, and enjoy fall outdoors at the annual Bump in the Night. The event, geared towards kids ages three to 10 and their adults, encourages outdoor exploration while learning about the creatures that go bump in the night.
Panther Hollow Extravaganza
Now in its fifth year, the Panther Hollow Extravaganza started our fall volunteer season off with a bang. More than 115 energetic volunteers battled invasives, planted native trees, and beautified the park. All told, these fantastic folks removed 20 bags of trash, collected 240 pounds of red oak acorns for DCNR, planted 21 trees, and improved 80 feet of trails. All that, not to mention they cleared four sites of invasive plants, did some erosion control, build a retaining wall, AND established a rock crossing on a stream. Thanks to everyone that came out to help!
What’s to come
Dan Kiley (1912-2004) was one of the most important and influential Modernist landscape architects of the 20th century. After his passing, The Cultural Landscape Foundation assembled a special traveling photographic exhibit on his life and career. On November 7th, this exhibit will be on display at the Wood Street Galleries. Join our Parks Curator Susan Rademacher and Carol Brown, president of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, for the opening reception. (And be sure to order a copy of Susan’s new book, Mellon Square: Experiencing a Modern Masterpiece (Modern Landscapes, Then and Now) today!) Find more information here.
For kids ages 10 to 14 who have a sense of adventure, a love of learning, and can roast a serious marshmallow, Night Explorers is a not-to-be-missed event. There will be nocturnal animal presentations, owl calls, a community campfire, and plenty of fun to go around. Registration and more information can be found here.
Missed the Panther Hollow Extravaganza? There are plenty more opportunities to join the ranks of our volunteer crews this fall. Visit the observatory, Chapel Shelter, and bear pit in Riverview Park or meet the passionate residents greening up their neighborhood on the Hill at our upcoming volunteer days. Register and more information here.
Urban EcoSteward Planting Techniques Training
The Urban EcoStewards invite everyone to become a pro at properly planting native species. The training, set in gorgeous Emerald View Park, is free and open to the public. Register here!
One year ago: A Play-full Event
Two years ago: Every Little Bit Helps — A Volunteer Extravaganza