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Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen.
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Environmental groups collaborate on regional stewardship symposium

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For Pittsburgh's environmental stewards, community and collaboration are key. In an effort to further partnerships and increase awareness of volunteer opportunities, seven instrumental groups are teaming up for the first-ever Pittsburgh Regional Environmental Stewardship Symposium. The symposium will be held 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sat., July 11 at the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park, in Regent Square.

The symposium aims to educate and invigorate active area stewards, and introduce those with newfound interest or engagement to an array of ways to get involved. A keynote address that positions Pittsburgh's efforts in a national context will be given by Steven Handel, Ph.D., a professor of ecology and evolution at Rutgers University.

Event hosts include: Allegheny Land Trust, Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, Frick Environmental Center, Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

Among the hosting organizations, more than 2,500 volunteers have logged nearly 20,000 hours of volunteer time over the past two years. Environmental stewardship in Pittsburgh includes restoration, remediation and continued maintenance, and ranges from street tree planting to riverfront trail clean-up to hillside stabilization, says Jeffrey Bergman with Nine Mile Run.

Erin Copeland with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy adds, "Anyone who is doing any stewardship in the city is not only helping the environment but also the human population. You can't remove the people from the ecology of the city."

Registration and event details are available here.

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Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Jeffrey Bergman, program director, Nine Mile Run; Erin Copeland, restoration ecologist, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Image courtesy Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest
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