As we are heading into summer we wanted to provide a recap of all of our spring activity. It was a busy season of throwing fundraisers, tending to trees, and stewarding the watershed!
To kick off our 15th anniversary celebration, we held two new and different fundraisers. The first event took place in March at Butterjoint, an upscale tavern in Oakland. From 4pm to midnight, we enjoyed “Nine Mile Rum” cocktails, snacked on loaded fries, and showed off our Hydra rain barrel (which we managed to fit in the back of the restaurant)! With Butterjoint’s generous help we were able to raise over $1000!
In April, our friends and supporters descended on Franktuary to enjoy the featured drink, “Nine Mule Run”, and special dish, “Dog with the (Storm)Works”, and a slideshow of NMR events, as well as NMR merchandise for sale. Within just a few hours we raised a couple hundred dollars and enjoyed many tasty dogs.
This spring we worked with 175 volunteers to remove 167 bags of trash and 26 tires from the stream and upper watershed communities! Â These volunteers also removed 400 square feet of invasive species and planted 600 seeds of native milkweed plants in the stream and wetlands restoration area.
June is here and warmer weather has arrived. Although this spring was not a major planting season for us, we were able to prep 128 trees for the summer growing season working with various volunteer groups. Â Our prep included removing vegetation from the area around the trees Â and adding mulch when needed. Â This helps reduce competition for resources, keeps grass cutting machines away from the trunks, and helps retain spring soil moisture a bit longer into the summer.
In April, we worked with volunteers at three tree care events in Wilkinsburg. Â We worked with Job Corps students, our watershed tree tenders, and our other awesome volunteers. Â On the final Saturday of April, volunteers helped put the finishing touches on part 1 of our pit expansion project. Â We installed 30 perennial plants adjacent to the East Busway along Edgewood Avenue in Swissvale. Â We look forward to watching these new plants grow!
In May, we worked with area youth to prep tree pits. Â We joined Pittsburgh Urban Christian School students during their neighborhood clean up day to prep the tree pits around their school and in a favorite play space, Ferguson Park. Â Two weeks later, under the white blooms of hawthorns, Wilkinsburg Boys and Girls Club helped us weed and mulch the tree pits in a Borough parking lot. Â This work was in preparation for Wilkinsburgâs Thursday Open Market, which opens for the summer on June 16. Â Finally, we returned to Kelly Elementary School to educate the fifth and sixth graders about the Nine Mile Run Watershed and how trees help us with our mission. Â Then we set off to mulch around 50 young trees which we planted on their campus three years ago as part of the Wilkinsburg TreeVitalize 500 Trees project. This summer, we will be out and about in the watershed taking care of tree pits as well as watering newly planted trees.
So what’s coming up next?
We have two exciting events coming up this month! On June 4th weâre heading out bright and early to go birding and have breakfast in Frick Park. Then, on June 11th, we host our first ever Bike Tour & What is the generic version of augmentin! Each event is $25 per attendee, but free to all NMRWA members. Not a member yet? Join us at ninemilerun.org/donate.