Volunteers sought for North Park tree planting event
Thursday, April 4, 2019 | 1:30 AM
Richland Township is looking for volunteers to help plant trees at North Park in an effort to improve the environment and water quality along Pine Creek.
The project, which will take place April 27, is a collaboration between the Allegheny Watershed Alliance, the Allegheny County Conservation District and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
As opposed to planting trees for shade or decoration, tree planting of this nature has a number of benefits for the natural world, said Sara Knapp, the township’s environmental compliance and sustainability coordinator.
“They do the plantings along the stream banks very strategically to help with water quality and stream bank erosion and things like that,” Knapp said. “If you have trees, that helps hold the banks better. You want more vegetation around waterways rather than less. This is really going to help the Pine Creek environment.”
For the past two years, Knapp has led a volunteer cleanup along Deer Creek for the township’s spring environmental project. In 2017, they tackled a stretch of the west branch of the creek along Route 910 from near the Pine-Richland Youth Center to the area behind the Orchard Park neighborhood. About 25 volunteers helped fill 80 garbage bags of trash plus some larger items. Last year’s half-mile cleanup picked up where 2017’s left off, continuing down to McIntyre Road and the parking lot at Kenna Automotive.
She had planned another similar project for this year, but when they were approached by the conservation district about participating in the tree planting, it made sense to join forces.
“We jumped on the bandwagon with them because the watershed includes our municipality, and it will benefit not only us but all the municipalities that make up the Pine Creek watershed,” she said.
Snacks will be provided but participants should bring water bottles. Extra gloves and shovels would also be appreciated. Volunteers should dress appropriately for the task.
“It’s April 27, so the weather could be anything that day,” Knapp said. “I always advise people to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, it doesn’t really matter what time of year. It just helps if you’re digging in the dirt and in the woods. And always wear closed-toed shoes.”