Hey there! My name is Abby. I moved to Pittsburgh last November after studying environmental science at Rutgers University and spending a summer working with the Musconetcong Watershed in rural New Jersey.
I moved to Pittsburgh because it fit all of my requirements for a place to live:
(1) it’s a beautiful city with a rich history;
(2) it’s not my hometown;
(3) it has lots of water, much of it in need of some TLC.
Soon after I moved, I got in touch with Maranda, the Restoration Stewardship Coordinator at Nine Mile Run Watershed Association. Maranda and the entire NMRWA crew welcomed me on board as a volunteer while I was settling into my new life. From December to May, I spent a few hours every Wednesday morning working at the office or out in the stream.
After growing up in what I refer to as the “garden part of The Garden State” and going to school for environmental science, it is extremely important for me to have a role in conservation. Volunteering with NMRWA gave me the opportunity to do stream monitoring and help with event planning. Along the way, in addition to improving my birdwatching skills, I learned about the watershed, the sewershed and the wonderful communities that make up Nine Mile Run!
NMRWA allowed me to maintain a connection with our valuable water resources. In June I started working full-time at La Prima Espresso Company as the Sustainability Coordinator, through which I plan to increase the company’s community involvement and decrease its ecological footprint. This includes highlighting the importance of water. Coffee cultivation has an enormous impact on the environment, and when coffee is brewed, the water used has an enormous impact on the taste of the coffee. We must realize that everything comes around.
Now that my mornings are busy with the exciting caffeinated world of coffee, I am hosting evening pop-up stream sweeps! Join me after work from 6:00-8:00pm on Wednesday, August 10th at the parking lot by the Duck Hollow bridge. If you are not familiar with the stream, Duck Hollow is at the outlet of NMR to the Monongahela River, at the bottom of Old Browns Hill Road. Summer rains wash debris through the watershed, but we can catch some of the litter before it gets lost to the larger rivers! I’ll have everything ready to clean up the stream. Just bring yourself, some sunblock, and boots if you’d like. Looking forward to meeting you!