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27
May

As you may have seen in our Buy viagra 200 mg, 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 PPC’s Mission Ground Truth (MGT) program 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!

27
Apr

For the past two years, NMRWA has been working with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC) to increase the environmental stewardship capacity of our watershed community. Funding for this work was provided by a grant received from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program. Maybe you read about this in our Doxycycline hyclate 100mg online pharmacy?

Yesterday, as a part this program, NMRWA staff co-led a training workshop for Urban EcoStewards on streamflow monitoring in Nine Mile Run. Along with Sarah Lavin, a graduate student in the Generic equivalent for norvasc, Sara Powell & Paul Yanulavich spent a sunny Sunday morning working with eight volunteers to measure streamflow and take cross-section measurements of the stream.

It is important for us to understand streamflow patterns and how the stream channel is changing in Nine Mile Run, both for continued restoration efforts in Frick Park (e.g., erosion remediation), and also so we can assess how well management efforts in the upper watershed (e.g., green stormwater infrastructure, rain barrels) are reducing excess stormwater flows into the stream.

Unfortunately, continuous monitoring of discharge (the volume of water flowing through the stream during a unit of time) is complex and expensive. Instead, since last summer, we have been working with Where can i buy ventolin hfa (UES) volunteers to help us collect data that will allow us to create something called a Voltarol in uk.

This curve will allow us to ‘reconstruct’ a continuous discharge record – giving us a much better understanding of streamflow in Nine Mile Run!

So, at Sunday’s training, we demonstrated how UES volunteers can measure the stream’s velocity and cross-sectional area – two critical pieces to calculating discharge. We then used similar methods to measure the stream channel geometry.

The geometry of the channel is also important to understand, because storms can cause large volumes of water to surge rapidly through Nine Mile Run, changing the stream channel shape very quickly. These changes, whether they are due to erosion or damage to built rock features, put our restoration efforts at risk. Regular cross-section measurements will allow us to look at how the shape of the stream channel is changing over time, and to apply necessary management efforts as needed.

Thank you so much to all the Urban EcoStewards and interested volunteers for coming out on Sunday! We will be posting more photos from the day on Hoodia kopen nederland, so make sure to check them out!

If you are interested in becoming an Urban EcoSteward, Dexamethasone ophthalmic solution generic for more information or email .

 

17
Nov

It’s time for another edition of Meet the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association Staff!

You may remember we did another post about our staff called Buy viagra online real! There, you got to know our GreenLinks Coordinator, Jared and Stormw0rks’ Regional Stormwater Strategist, Mo.

Since that blog post Brittany, the Managing Director of Stormworks, has joined us! Brittany answered 5 questions so you could get to know her a bit better.

We also asked Mike, our Director of Policy and Outreach 5 questions. Mike has worked at NMRWA since July 2013.  Stay tuned for more blog posts in this series to get to know all NMRWA staff members!

Learn more about Brittany and Mike below!

 

Brittany Miller

Brittany joined the Stormworks team earlier this month. Brittany brings over five years of experience in sales, marketing, and operations from various start-ups to her new role as StormWorks Managing Director. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, with a focus in Marketing. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, baking, reading, skiing, and walking her dog.

1. Can you speak any other languages?

Brittany does not speak another language although she did take Latin in high school!

2. If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would it be?

France because of all of the baked goods and the scenery. Brittany has already traveled to London.

3. What are your hobbies?

Brittany loves to read and play sports, especially tennis, golf and skiing. She also enjoys doing crafts as well as baking and cooking.

4. Draw your favorite animal.

Check out Brittany’s awesome drawing of a wolf below!

BrittanyWolf

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. What is your favorite tree?

A White Oak. Brittany and her husband planted a white oak tree during their wedding ceremony!

 

Mike Hiller

Mike Joined NMRWA in July 2013 as the Director of Policy and Outreach. He has an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and a Master of Art degree in Geography with a Graduate Certificate in GIS & Spatial Analysis, both from the University at Albany. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Mike was the GIS Coordinator for the University at Albany, where he developed a campus-wide system of infrastructure. He also has experience as an urban planning consultant, working to create more sustainable regions and places. He is responsible for coordinating watershed communities and organizations to develop and implement green infrastructure projects. In his free time, Mike likes to explore new areas of Pittsburgh, hang out with his dog, and find fresh food at a farmer’s market.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A basketball or football player.

2. What is the last thing that you ate?

At the time of  this interview, the last thing Mike had ate was a breakfast burrito with a side of grapes. This was thanks to an office wide breakfast burrito party that morning!

3. What is your most memorable NMRWA moment?

The first time Mike planted a tree in the watershed stood out to him. Mike has continued to plant many trees throughout the watershed during GreenLinks’ tree planting events as well as cared for many others during the tree care events.

4. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food.

5. If you were a Superhero, what powers would you want to have?

To be able to fly.

18
Jun

GBA-LOGO-2014-LG-WEBToday’s post comes from the Lisinopril online pharmacy. GBA is the regional chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, and works to inspire the creation of healthy, high-performance places for everyone by providing leadership that connects knowledge, transformative ideas, and collaborative action. GBA has an Buy viagra or cialis online that enables like-minded sustainability professionals to be a force for progress within their communities by providing a forum for networking and education.

One of GBA’s Emerging Professionals is Christi Saunders – a virtual construction engineer for Mascaro Construction. She wrote today’s post about her experience volunteering in Frick Park as an Urban EcoSteward. Thank you to Christi & GBA for this guest blog post!


I live in Regent Square and have spent much time in Frick Park, either running, walking the dog, or playing tennis.  I have always enjoyed my time in Frick Park because it feels like I’ve have been transported out of the city to the Middle of Nowhere, PA. Its calm, quiet, and beautiful.

With views like this, it's easy to forget you're in Pittsburgh! (Photo by John Moyer)

With views like this, it’s easy to forget you’re in Pittsburgh! (Photo by John Moyer)

Through living in Regent Square and my involvement with the Emerging Professionals at Green Building Alliance, I learned about the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association.  NMRWA is involved in the cleanup and maintenance of the Nine Mile Run watershed, which includes Frick Park and parts of Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh, Swissvale, and Edgewood.  In all of the time I had spent in Frick Park, I had never considered how the park was maintained.  I guess I just assumed that the city and the Parks Conservancy maintained the grounds, which in fact they do – they cut grass address fallen trees, service the restroom facilities, maintain the trails, etc.  Other major maintenance activities in the park like collecting trash, removing invasive species, and planting new species, however, is actually accomplished through a volunteer program called Urban EcoStewards, which is managed by NMRWA and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

Since I love Frick Park so much, I was eager to do my part to help maintain its great quality so others can enjoy it as much as I do.  I brought the idea of joining the EcoStewards program to GBA’s Emerging Professionals group and we all agreed to take on the project. We have since been assigned a project site in Frick Park that is near the Edgewood/Swissvale on-ramp to the parkway.  We started maintaining the site last fall mostly by removing English Ivy, an invasive species that tends to grow everywhere.

We returned to the project this spring, but we wanted to do more than just remove English Ivy.  So Tom Cosgro and I attended a Spring Invasive Species training class that was held by NMRWA and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.  We learned new species to identify and whether or not they need to be removed from the site.  I also talked with NMRWA about what native species we could plant at our site. Two weeks before our spring cleanup day, I headed out and purchased a few bushes and several smaller flowering milkweed plants.

Soaking wet, but feeling accomplished! Thank you Christi, and all of our Urban EcoStewards, for your hard work!

Soaking wet, but feeling accomplished! Thank you Christi, and all of our Urban EcoStewards, for your hard work! (Photo courtesy GBA)

On our spring cleanup day this year, we began by removing several different types of invasive species including Garlic Mustard and Goutweed. Everyone noticed right away the lack of English Ivy, which made us feel accomplished since we knew that our last project had actually made an impact.

After an hour or so, the sky started to look darker so we decided to wrap it up by planting the natives that I had brought. As we began to dig holes for the bushes, the sky opened up and it poured down rain. We debated making a break for the cars but there was no time.  We all jumped into the trees and found as much shelter as we could. The pouring rain only lasted about 10-15 minutes but it was enough that we all ended up soaked.

After the rain, we went on to plant a Button Bush, a Spice Bush, and a few Milkweed plants, which attract numerous species of butterflies.  After that, we cleaned up and headed back towards Regent Square.  We all enjoyed an ice cold beer and laughed about being so wet.  Hopefully at the next EcoStewards day we will see our native plants flourishing along the trail in Frick Park.  And if you haven’t explored this wonderful park yet, you have to check it out!

11
Apr

A recap of the UES Spring Invasives Workshop

This past Sunday, April 6, 2014, nearly forty enthusiastic volunteers attended the Spring Invasives Workshop in Lower Frick Park offered by NMRWA and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for Jake Baechle, Volunteer Coordinator for the Parks Conservancy, and Paul Yanulavich, Urban EcoSteward Coordinator and Arborist for NMRWA, to talk about the Urban EcoSteward program and the importance of invasive plant removal and its connection to biodiversity.

For example, did you know that many plants from the nursery that people use in their gardens are specifically bred to be pest-free? Unfortunately, many of these plants find their way into Pittsburgh’s parks, where they have an unfair advantage over native plants.

While these invasive, pest-free plants are problematic for numerous reasons, one big one is that they affect the reproduction and survival of butterflies and moths. Butterflies and moths are not only unable to eat these plants, but they also are unable to lay their eggs on them, since they will ultimately need to be eaten by the young caterpillars.

The monarch butterfly’s life cycle is closely tied to seasonal growth of milkweed, the only plant its larvae will eat. These pictures are from Frick Park! (Photos: John Moyer)

The monarch butterfly’s life cycle is closely tied to seasonal growth of milkweed, the only plant its larvae will eat. These pictures are from Frick Park!
(Photos: John Moyer)

One example of note is the monarch butterfly. Monarch butterflies’ main food source are native milkweed plants in the US & Mexico. Milkweed is the only plant Monarchs will lay their eggs on, which unfortunately is vanishing at a rapid rate, particularly in the Great Plains states along the Monarch butterfly’s migration route, due to increased use of herbicides. Buy generic cialis in usa – at their peak in the 1990’s, Monarch butterflies occupied 45 acres of forest in the Mexican mountains; this past year they covered only 1.65 acres!

This lack of food and reproductive space for Monarchs as well as numerous other butterfly and moth species in turn affects bird populations. Adult birds can eat the berries of invasive plants, but their babies can only eat the soft butterfly and moth larvae usually found on the native plants these invasives are replacing.

Not all is gloom and doom, however. As participants at Sunday’s workshop learned, we can slow the rate of extinction and boost biodiversity and the food web by planting native plants, like milkweed, in our own backyards (and in the parks), and by removing the invasives that are taking their place.

Although not many plants (native or invasive) were coming up quite yet because of the late arrival of Spring, the group did manage to find plenty of emerging goutweed, garlic mustard, and mugwort plants to remove, and, as always, plenty of vines to cut away from our beautiful, native trees.

Thanks to all the Urban EcoStewards and other volunteers who helped to make the day a success, and to Jake Baechle and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Naturalist Mike Cornell for their knowledge, leadership, and insight.

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