Photo by Justin Criado

Manchester Academic Charter School fifth-graders clean-up a roadway near the school Friday, April 17 in recoginition of Earth Day, which was Wednesday, April 22.

By Justin Criado

Northside celebrated Earth Day, which was officially Wednesday, April 22, this past week with several community-based activities, including trash pick-ups and tree planting.

Manchester Academic Charter School students took a break from their state testing schedule Friday, April 17 to clean-up trash in the surrounding neighborhood.

“We try to cover a large area, especially in the empty lots there seems to be a lot to pick up so it’s good the kids can help with that,” MACS principal Beth McCaskey said.

Students in kindergarten to fifth grade participated in last Friday’s clean-up, while middle school students held a separate clean-up day this week, according to McCaskey.

The younger students spent an hour covering a four-block area near the Manchester school, and took advantage of being out in the nice weather for a good cause.

“We have about 250 students,” McCaskey said. “Of course, we’ve had a long winter. They seem to be enjoying it.”

In Brighton Heights, the Brighton Heights Citizen Federation’s (BHCF) garden and green space committee teamed up with a group of Rivers Casino volunteers and Tree Pittsburgh Wednesday, April 22, to clear a trail in Brightonwoods Park and plant 60 new trees.

“Originally we wanted to do more specific trail work. We got a lot done on the trail,” BHCF volunteer Matthew Yurkovich said. “We had a lot of the Rivers Casino volunteers focus on the trees. We got that all done.”

The project has been in the works since last year when BHCF garden and green space committee chair Susan Been contacted the city about clearing the trail behind the baseball fields, which serves as a direct route to nearby Riverview Park.

“Much progress was made today to begin to create a truly usable pathway that will eventually be six-feet wide and covered with crushed limestone,” Benn said. “Two Northside city parks are being reconnected.”

The trail is also an area that features a lot of wildlife like deer, and although there is no definitive timeline for completion, Benn explained that students from the Western Pa. Student Conservation Association as well as the Pittsburgh Public Works and Parks departments will continue to work on the trail in the coming months.

DSC_9640Photo by Justin Criado

Volunteer Matt Yurkovich (left) and his sister walk the trail behind Brightonwoods Park. The BHCF garden and green space committee teamed up with a group of Rivers Casino volunteers and Tree Pittsburgh on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, to begin to clear the trail and plant 60 new trees.