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Civic Impact

Green Cities Corps Sustainability Fellows making mark in local climate, greenhouse gas efforts

The Student Conservation Association’s Green Cities Corps Fellows have been having an impact on the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan and other local environmental efforts since 2008, and Fellows’ projects in 2012 are about to bear fruit.
Eighteen Fellows have been working in 16 organizations since February, says Fellowship Program Coordinator Miriam Parson. They work with nonprofits but aim to have an impact on businesses, university campuses and neighborhoods as well.
Past Fellows have helped the city’s Climate Action Plan gain new capabilities and aided East Liberty Development, Inc., in designing stormwater management projects, from rain gardens to tree planting.
This year, one Fellow is aiding the Green Building Alliance; another is managing the Black and Gold City Goes Green campaign with PennFuture; one Fellow is helping Global Links divert unused, surplus health-care materials from the waste stream to Latin American countries and increase its internal sustainability, and a fourth Fellow is helping a consortium of 11 higher-education institutions in Pittsburgh to implement greenhouse gas reductions and sustainability projects.
Nearly half of the Fellows – all young professionals out of college, ages 22-30 -- stay in the city and are hired here, says Parson.
Over the next few months, local residents will see more evidence of Fellows’ projects, from
Black and Gold City neighborhood blitzes to hand out household sustainability solutions to the finale of the Green Workplace Challenge for local businesses in October, which another Fellow is managing.
"We're really feeding into the ongoing green trend in Pittsburgh," says Parson. "We're bringing capacity to Pittsburgh's sustainable future."

Do Good:
Take a look at the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan and get involved with the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative.
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Miriam Parson, Student Conservation Association, Pittsburgh
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