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Multitude of Earth Day celebrations keep it fun and educational |
Home & Garden

Multitude of Earth Day celebrations keep it fun and educational

| Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:48 p.m
Earth Day
Shown above is part of the 2017 Pittsburgh Earth Day celebration. Events are planned throughout the city April 20-21 as part of this year's observation.
Facebook/PGH Halal Truck
A food truck festival, including PGH Halal Truck, will be part of the April 20-21 Pittsburgh Earth Day celebration.
Roasting marshmallows at an earlier Frick Park Earth Day community campfire.
Barbara Denning | For Trib Total Media
In this 2015 photo, Annie Quinn, executive director of the Scottdale-based Jacobs Creek Watershed Association, is happy to see one of several bird and bat houses erected at Willows Park in Mt. Pleasant during an Earth Day event.
Shown above, Daphne and Liz Kujawa prepare to assemble a bird box at the 2017 bird box building Earth Day event at the Mount Pleasant Public Library.
Children from Scottdale show off their bird houses from the Scottdale Public Library's bird box building Earth Day event in 2017. This year's event is set for April 21.
Visitors to the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve's Earth Day event on April 21 can learn how to DIY a small batch of microgreens.
Riley Davis of Derry pets a rabbit during the Westmoreland Earth Day at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve near Saint Vincent College in 2016.

For 48 years, America has been celebrating Earth Day on April 22, an event established to place legal and regulatory environmental protection mechanisms onto the national agenda.

Created by Sen. Gaylord Nelson, the first Earth Day led to demonstrations by 20 million Americans and, later that year, Congress authorized creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Since then, terms including “carbon footprint” and “greener living” have entered the American lexicon, and each year events dedicated to environmental improvement and education seem to grow.

Throughout the region, Earth Day is a weekend-long celebration.

Pittsburgh Earth Day will hold its fourth annual celebration, beginning with Paint the (Market) Square Green with 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. event on both Friday and Saturday.

On April 20-21, vendors specializing in earth-friendly and organic products and services will be part of a world market, along with live music. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days, hungry visitors can head over to the food truck festival. According to the event website, the Smithfield Street site will host a variety of trucks, with options from crepes, tacos, pierogis and ice cream to vegan and vegetarian choices.

A Great Lakes Brewing Co . sustainable sips pub crawl invites beer lovers to pick up a passport and visit each of seven participating bars from 1 to 5 p.m. on April 21. What does drinking beer have to do with saving the environment? For every five thirsty participants who show their stamped passports, Great Lakes will plant a tree, according to the website.

Also on April 21, Pennsylvania Resources Council will hold its seventh annual ReuseFest.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 21 at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC employee parking lot, 55th and Harrison streets, Lawrenceville, bikes, medical supplies, usable building materials, household and kitchen items, gently used furniture and bedding, pet supplies, clothing and more will be accepted and donated to various local nonprofits for reuse. The collection will have a festival atmosphere, with food trucks, pop up shops, children’s activities and volunteer opportunities, according to a news release.

Citywide observations

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has a variety of weekend activities planned, all included with admission. No registration is needed. The schedule for April 20 includes potting pollinator-friendly plants, a discovery station to learn tips on reducing waste and recycling, an environmental film series and a youth art exhibition.

On April 21, the Butterfly Forest opens, crafts can be made with natural and recyclable materials and children can meet a scientist in the Tropical Forest Conservatory. April 22’s events include many of the above activities, along with learning about urban beekeeping. Full list of daily plans available on the website,

Frick Environmental Center will hold an all-ages community campfire from 6 to 9 p.m. April 20 at the Falls Ravine Shelter. Guests are asked to bring their own hot dogs for roasting and/or s’more ingredients. On April 21, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy naturalists will lead one-hour walks and hikes throughout Frick Park at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Numerous other activities and events are planned, including local vendors, organizations, and artists, giant games, exhibits, silent disco yoga at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and storytelling at 3 p.m.

Beautify Plum

Volunteers are wanted for the third annual Plum Community CleanUp Day, 8:30-10 a.m. April 21. Residents, civic groups, church groups and businesses are encouraged to help make the borough free of debris. Participants will meet at the public works facility at 2001 Old Mine Road, where they will be assigned various sections of Plum to clean.

The borough will provide a continental breakfast, gloves, bags and vests. Register via email at More information is available online at .

Valley area events

The Harrison Township Earth Day Committee will sponsor a road cleanup from 1 to 3 p.m. April 21. Areas to be worked on include Pleasantville Road, Karns Road, Argonne Drive, Vermont Avenue, Springhill Road, Hemlock Street and River Road. To volunteer, contact Ken Crisafio at

Friends of Harrison Hills Park will celebrate Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 21 at the park, Natrona Heights. Work needs to be done in the Environmental Learning Center, the Outdoor Classroom and in the gardens and areas that surround the facilities. Bring gloves, pruning saws, loppers or pruners and wear work clothing. Sessions will be from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Volunteers are welcome to work either session or stay the whole day. Lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m. To volunteer, email

Westmoreland cleans up

The 16th annual Westmoreland Earth Day will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. April 21 at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College in Unity, and feature local environmental organizations and businesses. With a theme of “Earth Day DIY — Do It Yourself,” the focus will be on homesteading, conservation techniques, nature enjoyment and appreciation, according to its website.

More than 35 exhibitors from nonprofit organizations and environmental businesses will participate, and activities will include pond exploration, live animals and a petting zoo hosted by the Saint Vincent College Equestrian Club. Visitors can enjoy product vendors, nature and bird walks, live music, a children’s obstacle course and native plants. Some aspects of the event will be powered by Zero Fossil’s renewable energy. The first 100 guests will receive a packet of native plant seeds. Details:

Also on Saturday, two local libraries will host a family-friendly “Build Your Own Blue Bird Boxes” event, including activities, stories and songs focusing on birds. Mt. Pleasant Public Library’s event will be at 10 a.m. at the 120 S. Church St. facility, while Scottdale Public Library will sponsor its event at 3 p.m. at the Scottdale Mennonite Church fellowship hall, 801 Market St. Registration is required by calling 724-887-8220 ext. 3 or emailing

West Overton Village in East Huntingdon will host Ellen Keefe of Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling at 2 p.m. April 22 for an Earth Day presentation on composting, including instructions on making and using a composting bin, according to the museum’s website.

Admission is a suggested $5 donation at the door.

The Westmoreland County Community College Horticulture Club will host a plant sale from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. April 20 and 23-27 in the greenhouse at the back of Science Hall on the Youngwood campus.

Herbs, flowers, hanging baskets and vegetables, along with a limited number of succulents, cacti, indoor plants and trees, will be available. The sale also will feature lilies, daffodils and tulips suitable for Mother’s Day gift-giving. The greenhouse is accessible through Room 3304. Its exterior doors are not currently in use due to parking lot construction. Sale proceeds will benefit a club trip to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Details:

Volunteers interested in participating in Youngwood’s annual Earth Day cleanup event should meet at the borough office building on South Sixth Street at 8 a.m. April 21. Volunteers will pick up trash on borough roads. Participants should wear work clothes, including closed-toe shoes, pants and long-sleeved shirts. Gloves and safety vests will be provided. Refreshments will be served after the cleanup, around 11 a.m. Details: 724-925-3660 or

Categories: Home Garden
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