On Saturday, April 27th, SWEP members participated in the first public service event of 2019, hosted by the Allegheny County Department of Parks. This event kicked off the new initiative Park Steward Program at North Park. Thirteen volunteers from the SWEP Public Service Committee and other members attended. The group was tasked with removing invasive plant species and restoring a natural habitat along one of the trail heads near the North Park Ranch House. After a morning of hard work pulling up and digging out vegetation, the volunteers created massive piles of weeds. It’s amazing what a group of determined, passionate people can accomplish in one morning! After the hard (and fun!) work, the group was treated to a pizza party by the Park Rangers as a thank you.
Two SWEP members, Kristen Schawalder and Hannah Baldwin, signed up to become Park Stewards at North Park, committing to 24 hours of service each year. They will be coordinating and overseeing their own groups of volunteers to remove invasive species. The goal of this initiative is to restore and protect the natural ecosystems by removing invasive and non-native plant species to provide for the return and growth of native plants and habitats. The Park Rangers coordinate with the stewards and provide management plans to guide these conservation efforts.
This event was a great way to give back to the community parks and meet others in the SWEP Three Rivers Chapter. If you missed this event, we hope you can make it to the next one in the Fall! More information to come!
Interested in learning more about the Park Steward Program? Please visit the Allegheny County website for more information: https://www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/rangers/park-stewards-program.aspx
To find out more information about SWEP Three Rivers, please visit our website: https://swep3rivers.org/