New Tree Pits
Our work in the Rosedale Runoff Reduction Project (RRRP) area continues as we aim to complete the first phase of the project by the end of 2016. A major component of the project is the planting of 40 street trees in stormwater management tree pits.
This month one of our contractors, Penn Landscape & Cement Work, completed the first four of these tree pits on Rosedale Street. The process included several months of design revisions and meetings with the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works. The tree pits, planted with Black Gum trees, are designed to be lower than the street grade so they will capture street runoff through curb cuts for ground infiltration.
As part of the Operation Better Block Cluster Planning Process, residents voiced their interest in adding green design elements to Rosedale Street. These tree pits are a first step.
Vacant Lot Cleanups
Also, in early April, Nine Mile Run staff worked with two volunteer groups to clean-up three vacant lots on the corner of Rosedale and Hill Streets, next to the Port Authority’s Wilkinsburg Busway parking lot. With the help of 33 volunteers, over 100 trash bags were removed along with 15 tires!
The groups included students from a nature writing graduate class at Chatham University on April 4, who removed over 60 bags of trash and nine tires. On April 12, international students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, visiting through Magee-Women’s International Youth Leadership Program finished cleaning up the lots, collecting more than 40 bags of trash and eight tires. The groups also toured the restoration area of the NMR stream in lower Frick Park before the clean-up to get a sense of where the trash would end up if it had not been cleaned up in the upper watershed.
Stay tuned for more projects in the Rosedale area!
Over the last five years, we have worked diligently as part of the Clean Rivers Campaign (CRC) to mobilize ALCOSAN ratepayers, generate media coverage and key stakeholder engagement to change our region’s plan to comply with the US EPA Consent Decree for Western PA (which requires a drastic reduction in sewer overflows into our waterways) to one that recognizes the importance of climate resilient and sustainable 21st-century solutions. Because of the work of the CRC, our regional dialogue on this issue now focuses on how to maximize green infrastructure to capture rain where it falls and improve water quality, while rebuilding blighted neighborhoods and producing essential community benefits.
In January 2016, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Bill Peduto (with the support of ALCOSAN) sent a letter to the US EPA, US Department of Justice, and PA Department of Environmental Protection calling on them to allow a “green-first, green-preferred” adaptive management approach to Consent Decree compliance. On March 9th, the EPA sent a positive response, indicating that the regulators are willing to modify the Consent Decree to allow “a consequential change in direction”, including an extended timeline.
This is a huge win for our region that could not have happened without our CRC supporters. Thanks to all of you who endorsed the campaign, attended or testified at public meetings, wrote letters to the editor, contacted your representatives, or in any other way made known your desire for a sustainable solution.
How you can stay informed on this issue:
We must now ensure that a transformative sustainable plan will be implemented; the EPA is allowing us the space and time to accomplish this, but it is still up to our sewer authority to take advantage of this opportunity. To keep up to date on new developments, sign-up for CRC e-news and alerts.