Photo courtesy of the Pipitone Group

Pipitone Group employees participated in the company’s annual volunteer day Tuesday, Sept. 16 in Observatory Hill, beautifying three separate sites. The picture above is of the base of Baytree Street and Evergreen Road after the day-long effort to clear, landscape and erect new signage on the island.

By Justin Criado

The Pipitone Group (PG) took the old giving back to your community adage to heart Tuesday, Sept. 16 as the 42 employees of the Observatory Hill communications company participated in its annual volunteer day.

The employees cleared, landscaped and beautified three different parts of the Observatory Hill community, including putting up new signage at the island on the base of East Street and the base of Baytree Street and Evergreen Road.

“It’s just a positive thing that the whole group comes together,” owner and CEO Scott Pipitone said. “I’ve always been involved with this stuff.”

In the past, the efforts have focused on other Northside neighborhoods, but the group wanted to focus on Observatory Hill this year, which has been the company’s home since 1998.

“We were kind of excited about cleaning up our own neighborhood this year,” principal and chief creative officer Jeff Piatt said. “It’s always really positive.”

The PG received a $1,000 Love Your Block (LYB) grant from the city of Pittsburgh through the Observatory Hill, Inc. Surrounding businesses offered sponsorships and donated towards the efforts.

“They’ve all been able to help me so why not try to do these things back?,” Pipitone said.

The 3900 block of Perrysville Ave. is home to a dozen Observatory Hill businesses, including Pipitone’s, but a string of empty store fronts takes away from the overall image.

That’s why the PG came up with a creative, and educational, way to dress-up the abandoned businesses in the form of banners that highlight the neighborhood’s history.

“There’s nothing like getting outside of your element and doing a project,” director of communications Paul O’Rourke said.  “It’s going to be nice driving in to work knowing we had something to do with this.”

Citizens walking by or waiting at the bus top stopped to compliment the work.

Long-time resident Janet Pazzynski took to the social media app. Next Door to express her gratitude.

“A tremendous THANK YOU goes out to Scott Pipitone and the Pipitone Group for cleaning up and transforming the blighted business district in Observatory Hill,” Pazzynski posted. “Thank you for making a difference in our neighborhood!!!!!!!!!!!”

For more about the Observatory Hill project and past volunteer efforts visit the company’s blog.