Park Ranger Stevie Smith gives a shoutout to park volunteers, shares how you can continue to help fight against the invasive Spotted Lanternfly, and announces upcoming Ranger Walk & Talks.
Photo: This month, Ranger Stevie gives a shoutout to the “Riverview Lady Litter Pickers,” who are a volunteer group in Riverview Park. They meet every third Saturday at 9 a.m. in front of the Visitor Center.
Hello Friends, Ranger Stevie here! We are already two months into the new year. Can you believe it? Time is just flying by. I have a few things to share with you today.
Shoutout to Volunteers
I want to first give a huge shoutout and thank you to a group of volunteers in Riverview Park known as the “Riverview Lady Litter Pickers.”
Last month, these ladies filled a Kubota, cleaned two dump sites, and saved a friendly bear (now undergoing rehab). This dedicated crew of lady leaders includes Ms. Denise, Ms. Marie, and Ms. Kelly. They took advantage of the frozen ground in order to safely get up and down two hillsides where people have been dumping. Feel free to join the movement: They meet every third Saturday at 9 a.m. in front of the Visitor Center at Riverview Park.
Spotted Lanternfly Egg Sacks
The next topic I want to discuss is the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) egg sack. You may be asking yourself, what can you do to help? Winter time is the perfect time to get out and scrape the SLF egg sacks and we are going to give you the information you need to scrape the eggs sacks whether you’re in a park, at home, or out and about in our city. This is important to do before the warm weather gets here, because once it gets warm, the first generation of the eggs laid last year will hatch, so let’s get to what you can do to help.
First, you are going to want to figure out what you can scrape the eggs with. You can use any hard item to scrape the sacks: an old debit card, a stick, a pocket knife—whatever you prefer.
Next, you have to find the sacks—all along the train tracks, the Aviary wall—any type of manmade fixture should be looked at. I would also suggest checking out trees: They are normally put way up in the tree canopy, but you can totally check them out.
Lastly, sack identification. This past fall, I started scraping egg sacks, but stumbled upon a few sacks that were unfamiliar to me. SLF sacks tend to be flat and look smeared and concrete-like (see photos).
The only other types of sacks I found near SLF sacks were praying mantis sacks. We definitely do not want to scrape these, because they are one of the few bugs that will eat a SLF.
Ranger Walk & Talks
If you would like to join, I will be doing Ranger Walk & Talks every other Wednesday starting Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. in Allegheny Commons. We will meet where Gus & Yia Yia’s is usually parked. Our first Walk & Talk will be focused on the Spotted Lanternfly.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to give us Pittsburgh Park Rangers a follow on Instagram to see what’s happening in all your City Parks: @pghparkrangers is our handle.
Stevie Smith is a City of Pittsburgh Park Ranger in the Northside’s Allegheny Commons Park.