Nonprofits and Volunteers Step Up Cleanup in North Side Neighborhoods

(Pittsburgh Union Progress) Pittsburgh’s hilly geography spawned at least 460 sets of steps that connect its neighborhoods and lead residents to access transit and much more.

Unfortunately, those steps also become dumping and trash magnets, and taking care of that problem — as well as their vegetation overgrowth and structural issues — poses a huge challenge.

Allegheny CleanWays and Landforce have worked together with help from community volunteers to start moving toward a solution. The Garden Club of Allegheny County awarded the two nonprofit organizations a $25,000 grant last year to “clean, beautify and establish a stewardship program” for five sets of those steps in North Side neighborhoods: Basin Street in Troy Hill/Spring Garden, Carrie Street in Fineview, Kenwood Avenue in Perry South, Faris Street in California-Kirkbride/Perry South, and Arch Street in Perry South/Central North Side.

Lauren Pearman, education director and dumpbuster crew leader, said Allegheny CleanWays has weekly cleanups in the city and the county, and the nonprofit and its volunteer crews started working on the steps 2½ years ago. But it became a full-fledged program last year with the grant.

“Landforce came in and handled invasive weed control, painted railings and planted some species along the steps,” she said. “We organized cleanups with community groups to get all the big junk out. Now we’re in the process where we are training stewards, and they come in once a month and cut back overgrowth.”

Read the entire article

Learn more about Allegheny CleanWays and Landforce