The 'burgh's a-twitter! Grab bags and shovels!

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .


Earth Day was born 39 years ago today, when tweets came only from birds and blackberries from prickly plants.

If you can part with your gadgets long enough to join the thousands of area residents in clean-ups, tree plantings, garden weedings and other green events this week and coming weekend, you'll have something to tweet proudly about. Take your cameras, though, and post your photos in our Earth Day gallery at 

Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., 50 students from Weil Early Childhood Center will plant a tree and celebrate Arbor Day at the Carnegie Library branch at Centre Avenue and Kirkpatrick Street in the Hill. Activities include story time with tree-themed books, planting locally-harvested Kentucky Coffee Tree seeds, arts and crafts and songs.

On Friday, 3,500 children at 43 Pittsburgh schools will clean their campuses and Friends of the Riverfront volunteers will pick up litter on the Jail Trail.

Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, Carnegie Library staff and volunteers from PNC and Duquesne Light will visit Homewood Early Childhood Center, Faison K-8, Minadeo PreK-5, Montessori PreK-8, Manchester PreK-8, Allegheny K-5, Concord K-5, and Grandview K-5 to plant trees that Duquesne Lights has donated.


Saturday is the big day, when thousands of residents of more than 100 neighborhoods and municipalities in the area join other Americans for the Great American Clean-up.

Volunteers from Comcast will help North Siders stake and mulch 30 new trees from the city-county TreeVitalize program, paint park benches, weed gardens and sweep the Allegheny Commons Park's promenade on Saturday.


Some events have already happened.

Many neighborhoods held Earth Day clean-ups last weekend. Boris reported 25 "redd-ups" on Saturday, 11 for which he has results: More than 1,500 volunteers at 11 sites collected about 30 tons of litter. Monroeville's 680 volunteers collected 14 tons and 300 tires.

Three-hundred Duquesne University Evergreen volunteers helped residents in the Hill and Uptown collect nine tons of litter and 200 tires, and another 150 Duquesne students volunteered with residents on the South Side.

Collier's 160 volunteers collected 5.5 tons. The Nine Mile Run Watershed's 55 volunteers rid the area of about a 1/2 ton.


To find out how you can volunteer for clean-ups this weekend, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call your neighborhood's community council or community development corporation for more details. You can also check your neighborhood's individual list-serve and web sites for details. (Some are listed under "Neighborhood Sites" to the left of this post.)

Happy Earth Day.


Earlier today, at the Pittsburgh Pirates' request, 25 volunteers from Renew Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Job Corps and Academy Systems and Citizens Against Litter made a clean sweep of the North Shore for Earth Day, reports Boris Weinstein, the pied piper of the regional anti-litter movement and founder of Citizens Against Litter.


"Volunteers picked up litter for a couple hours and were then guests of the Pirates for the Pirates/Marlins afternoon game," he wrote in an email. "The good thing about the North Shore clean sweep was that the North Shore, without our help, has to be one of the cleanest (if not the cleanest) places in Pittsburgh, a real credit to the Pirates, the parking lot owners/operators and the new businesses in the area."

The Hill District got a jump on Earth Day with an Earth Week schedule of events, starting April 17 with a clean-up Uptown. Coordinated by the Hill House Association, a dozen groups have teamed up for a week-long sweep that extends through Saturday.

Among several clean-ups, tours and plantings, two events today from 3 to 5 p.m., include a recycled crafts workshop for kids at the King Reading Center, 636 Herron Ave., and tour of the John Wesley AME Zion Church, 594 Herron Ave., where a geo-thermal pump has been installed.

For more information call 412.392.6479.


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