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09
Dec

Bright and early on a crisp Sunday morning, Jared Manzo, NMRWA’s GreenLinks Coordinator, guided participants on a tree identification walk through the lower section of Nine Mile Run. With rubber boots required, the first half of the walk traveled in or along the stream itself where no official trail exists.

Event participants crossing the stream. Jared Manzo talking to explaining leaf structure of a Boxelder.

Several species of trees were highlighted along the stream such as American sycamore, black willow, honey locust, silver maple, boxelder, common hackberry, and hardy catalpa. In a small patch of changing sugar maple, Jared explained what triggers dormancy in trees, the chemicals that produce fall color, and why leaves change color at all with the onset of dormancy.

A sugar maple slowly turning color.

Before moving back up to the Nine Mile Run Trail, Maranda Nemeth, NMRWA’s Restoration Stewardship Coordinator, took a moment to discuss a project along the run to allow fish to move further up stream. We returned to our starting point on Commercial Avenue by jumping onto the Nine Mile Run Trail. Some interesting species noted along the trail were staghorn sumac, black birch, sassafras, black gum, and bitternut hickory.

Overall, twenty-one tree species were identified. Tree identification focused on the most recognizable features of a given species to help distinguish it in the future. Leaf arrangement, simple leaves versus compound leaves, and the definition of a twig were discussed as well. Hot apple cider and muffins were great snacks given the chillier than usual October morning.

A medley of leaves fallen in Nine Mile Run.

If you are interested in tree identification, look out for walks in 2016 with NMRWA or Tree Pittsburgh! You can get started yourself by getting a guide such as Voltarol gel cheapest price or downloading Virginia Tech Tree ID app for your iPhone or Android device.

27
May

As you may have seen in our Buy effexor online uk, since 2013 we have been working with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC) on a grant received from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program. One of the goals of our partnership on this grant was to develop a culture of stewardship for the Nine Mile Run watershed by engaging a wide range of ages in citizen science and stewardship activities. One way we approached this was to implement Where can i buy cialis in toronto at Wilkinsburg Middle School.

MGT is an interdisciplinary ecosystem assessment program mapped to PA state academic standards for 7th and 8th grade students that includes in-class discovery activities as well as a field trip to Frick Park. During the field trip, students get to be ecologists for the day, and have the opportunity to use the same tools and sampling methods that scientists use to evaluate the health of forest and stream ecosystems.

Recently, NMRWA staff worked for two days in Frick Park with Environmental Educators from PPC to help lead the Wilkinsburg Middle School students through the field day programming.

Jared, Mike, & the students get ready for a leaf race!

Jared, Mike, & the students get ready for a leaf race!

We began each morning by discussing goals for the day, then broke into small groups. During the morning session, the groups each explored a section of the Fern Hollow stream while discussing questions such as “how can ecologists detect and measure pollution in a stream?” and “what benefits do humans and animals get from streams?” Then the students recorded data on physical and chemical water quality characteristics, such as temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and velocity. Next, we explored the benthic macroinvertebrate populations by carefully overturning rocks and collecting samples using a net. To wrap up, we would discuss how everything tied together by asking questions like “based on the data we collected, is the stream healthy or unhealthy?“and “how does the quality of Fern Hollow affect the health of Nine Mile Run?

Mike & a student measure the diameter of a tree.

Mike & a student measure the diameter of a tree.

After a break for lunch, the students got to venture into the forest for a deeper look at the complex forest ecology present in Frick Park. We identified different tree and plant species and talked about the various ecosystem services that forests provide to animals, streams, and people. We asked questions like “why is biodiversity important in forests?” and “how is the health of this forest related to the health of Fern Hollow and Nine Mile Run?” Then the students used forestry tools to collect data on the location, size, and type of trees, and we looked for evidence of Asian long-horned beetles. To wrap up, we asked questions similar to the morning session, like “is this section of the forest healthy or unhealthy?

Over the course of the two days, we had a wonderful & enriching experience working with the students and with the PPC staff. Thank you to Mike, Taiji, Steve, and Chelsea for their expertise & enthusiasm in implementing the MGT programming!

10
Mar

120522_NineMileRun_Tree_13Several years ago, Swissvale Council approved a resolution establishing a Shade Tree Advisory Committee consisting of 3-5 resident volunteers appointed by Council. Since this resolution, the Committee has become inactive. Swissvale’s urban forest is not only an asset to the community, but also areas downstream of Swissvale, including the Nine Mile Run Watershed, Frick Park, and the Monongahela River. With the support of Borough Council, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association is assisting Swissvale in community outreach and reformation of this committee.

Based on 2010 data, tree canopy cover analyzed by the US Forest Service for Allegheny County found that approximately 39% of Swissvale’s land area is covered with tree canopy. That’s pretty good, but it can be better! There are many streets in Swissvale that could benefit from planting more street trees for shade, stormwater retention, and aesthetics. Maintaining trees for today while planting for tomorrow provides a connection for residents to the community now and in the future.

The Committee will advise the Swissvale Borough in managing the street trees of the urban forest by prioritizing maintenance, acquiring grants for tree plantings, assisting in community outreach, and drafting a tree ordinance. There are no minimum requirements for membership in the Committee. Swissvale seeks residents with a passion for their community and its trees as they relate to the preservation and expansion of the Borough’s stock of trees. Any and all members of the Swissvale community are encouraged to participate in the meetings and activities of the Committee.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Shade Tree Advisory Committee, you may contact Jared Manzo, Greenlinks Coordinator, at Jared@ninemilerun.org or 412-371-8779 x116 or Councilperson Darrell Rapp at Rapp4swissvale@gmail.com or 412-271-7101.

09
Oct

Stream Sweep

Last Sunday, October 5th, NMRWA hosted our Fall Stream Sweep! We changed things up a bit this year with our Stream Sweeps. In order to give more people the opportunity to join us for this event, we hosted two Stream Sweeps, one in the Spring on Saturday and one in the Fall on Sunday. We had great turn out for both and we really appreciate everyone who joined us to clean up the stream!

The Fall Stream Sweep started out a bit chilly but that didn’t scare off our volunteers! About 20 people joined us Sunday morning in Frick Park. After an introduction to NMRWA and the event, we filled up on some bagels and coffee and were on our way. Our volunteers spread out throughout the stream and began collecting as much trash as they could. With the recent rain storms, a lot of trash and flowed downstream from all over the watershed. Participants found a car tire, a skateboard, a phone charger and many aluminum cans. You never know what you will find during a Stream Sweep!

After a few hours of collecting, our volunteers produced about 40 bags of trash! That is impressive as, just a few hours earlier, we were trying to adjust to the colder temperatures in Pittsburgh. We always greatly appreciate everyone who joins us for our Stream Sweeps. It is an important task to remove trash that could harm the stream. In the process, we make the park and the stream a more enjoyable place for everyone.

A special thanks to Bruegger’s Bagels in Squirrel Hill and Coffee Tree Roasters in Squirrel Hill for their generous donations to our Fall Stream Sweep.

 

Community Events

Many of our partner organizations and neighborhoods throughout the watershed are busy with upcoming events! We will start to feature these events with a bi-montly Community Events feature on this blog. Check out what is happening around the watershed below!

 

Wilkinsburg

HISTORICAL MARKER DEDICATION CEREMONY HONORS FRANK CONRAD 10/17

WILKINSBURG, PA, October 2, 2014 – In 1919, Frank Conrad, an electrical engineer and radio broadcasting pioneer, initiated a series of early radio broadcasts from his Wilkinsburg garage. Through his early radio work, Conrad became responsible for founding KDKA, the first licensed broadcast station in the world. In addition to his radio broadcasting, Conrad worked as the Assistant Chief Engineer for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh. Conrad received the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Edison Medal in 1930 and was awarded more than 200 patents throughout his life. He died in 1941 at the age of 67.

On Friday, October 17, 2014, beginning at 2 p.m. at Community Life (301 Meade St.), together with the National Museum of Broadcasting (NMB), the WCDC will honor the life and achievements of Frank Conrad by re-dedicating a Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission marker at the corner of South Trenton Avenue and Penn Avenue—one block east of the former location of Conrad’s garage. The dedication will also celebrate the 95th anniversary of Conrad’s first broadcast out of his Wilkinsburg garage—October 17, 1919.

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Halloween Party

The Halloween Party for the residents of Wilkinsburg is FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014
The Halloween Parade will start at 5 pm to 5:30 pm with all the ghouls, ghosts and goblins returning to the Borough Library Meeting Room on the 3rd floor to continue the festivities until the bewitching hour of 8 pm

 

Regent Square

Join the Regent Square Civic Association, in partnership with the Wilkins School Community Center, and make your own scarecrow to put on your porch or to donate to display along S. Braddock Avenue’s business district.

When:   Saturday, October 11th as part of the ECOFEST 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Where:   The Wilkins School Community Center
Cost:      FREE

 

Tree Pittsburgh

Book Launch
Join Tree Pittsburgh at their book launch party! Tree Pittsburgh’s children’s book, If We Were To Plant A Tree, is here and they are celebrating with a party and everyone’s invited.

Thursday, October 23
4:30-6:30 p.m.
Carnegie Lecture Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

They’ll have refreshments and children’s activities, as well as an art exhibit of student-created work. You’ll also get the chance to meet author Dar and listen to special guest Vanessa German read If We Were to Plant A Tree. Stick around after the reading to plant a tree with Daniel the Tiger!

For more information or to RSVP for this free event, visit http://bit.ly/treepghbooklaunch.

 
Tree ID Walk
Saturday, October 11
9:00 a.m.
Meeting point to be determined before the event
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