Earth Day celebrations mark advances
Pittsburgh’s gritty reputation as a city has given way to clean-and-green innovators in health care, education and technology.
So profound is the city’s transformation that the second annual Pittsburgh Earth Day celebration can’t be contained in just one day. The celebration of advancements in sustainability, technology and innovation will span a variety of venues from April 21 to 24.
In honor of the Pittsburgh bicentennial, the theme is “Steel to Sustainable.” Events will not only celebrate the city’s growing eco-consciousness, but its steel-making history.
“We’re getting bigger and bigger every year,” says Ronda Zegarelli, president of Acrobatique Creative, the branding partner for Pittsburgh Earth Day.
The city has a growing number of LEED-certified buildings; a revitalized riverfront; more streets with bike-pedestrian connections; the nation’s largest jump in bike commuting since 2000; and cleaner air and rivers.
The four days of events kick off with an Ecolution Fashion Show of clothing using organic, recycled and reused materials, from 7 to 10 p.m. April 21 at the Fairmont Pittsburgh, Downtown. Tickets are $20 to $60.
Earth Day will begin early with a 7 a.m. April 22 news conference, followed by a sustainability breakfast, with a panel discussion of the state of green industries in Pittsburgh, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. The breakfast is free, but reservations are required at showclix.com
• Solar-Powered Food Truck Festival, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 22 , with vehicles powered by solar energy from Zero Fossil Energy Outfitters, at 10th Street along the West Wing of the convention center.
• Paint the Square Green, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. April 22, with a Goodwill Green Fashion Challenge, vendors selling Earth-friendly products and entertainment by Mia Z, Rachel B, Pioneer Records artists and others, in Market Square.
• Lunchtime Bluegrass Concert and Marketplace, with Molly Alphabet, 11 a.m. April 22; The Armadillos, noon; The Beagle Brothers, 1 p.m. April 22, Mellon Square.
• Art and Local Showcase, 5-9 p.m. April 22, with Handmade Arcade vinyl spin art, music, curated exhibit of local artworks, all-ages activities and vendors of organic and handmade products, at David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
• The solar-powered Steel to Sustainable Festival from 7 to 11 p.m. April 23, at Carrie Blast Furnaces in Rankin, with music by Daily Grind, Soundwaves Steelband and Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band, along with food trucks, an over-21 beer garden and the Hard Hat Art Project, a local art exhibit. Proceeds benefit Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp. Admission is $15 to $20. Details: showclix.com
• TEDxPittsburgh Brunch, 11 a.m. April 24, featuring a series of talks on sustainability at Revel + Roost, 242 Forbes Ave., Downtown. $25. Details: showclix.com
Other Earth Day events
• Community Campfire, 7-9 p.m. April 22. Attendees should bring their own food; sticks will be provided. Intersection of Falls Ravine and Tranquil Trails, Lower Frick Park, Squirrel Hill. 412-422-6538 or pittsburghparks.org/earthday
• Phipps Environmental Film Festival, 7-9 p.m. April 22. “The Power of One Voice,” about the work of Rachel Carson, and “Sustainability Pioneers,” on initiatives in renewable energy and sustainability, will be shown. A discussion with filmmakers will follow. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Oakland. 412-622-6914 or phipps.conservatory.org
• Pittsburgh Zoo Party for the Planet, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 23. Free with admission. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Highland Park. 412-365-2532 or pittsburghzoo.org
• Westmoreland Earth Day, 1-6 p.m. April 23. “Outdoor Adventure Fest” will feature Trout Unlimited fly-fishing demonstrations, National Aviary Falcons in Flight show, live music, nature art display, petting zoo, climbing wall, nature ninja warrior obstacle course and displays and demonstrations by environmentally based businesses and nonprofits. Free. Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, Unity. westmorelandearthday.org
• Pine Earth Day Celebration, 1-3 p.m. April 30. Outdoor fun and will include recycling games and hikes at Pine Park Lake. $20 per family; register by April 23. 724-625-1636 or twp.pine.pa.us
• Youngwood , 8:30-11:30 a.m. April 23. Volunteers will pick up trash along local streets; gloves, vests and garbage bags will be provided. Youngwood Borough Building, 17 S. Sixth St. 724-925-3660
• Frick Park , 8:30 a.m. April 23. Frick Environmental Center, 2005 Beechwood Blvd., Squirrel Hill. Training, tools, gloves and light snack will be provided to volunteer landscapers. Registration required; those 18 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. 412-422-6538 or pittsburghparks.org/earthday
• South Side Park, 9 a.m.-noon April 23. Meet at South Side Sabers/Quarry Field Parking Lot to pull invasive plants, pick up trash and maintain trails; gloves, project materials and lunch will be provided. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. scapittsburghearthday.eventbrite.com
• Harrison Hills Park, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 23, meet at the Environmental Learning Center, 5200 Freeport Road, Natrona Heights. friendsofharrisonhills.org
• 12th Annual Brookline Earth Day Cleanup, 10 a.m. April 23. Meet at Cafe de Noir, 802 Brookline Blvd., for free coffee and pastries and job assignments, which include picking up litter along Brookline Boulevard and Fitch Way, and weeding and mulching planters and tree beds along Brookline Boulevard.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750 or [email protected].