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Great Outdoors Week opens Friday

| Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 4:44 p.m.

Outdoor life in Pittsburgh is far different from the days when the bike trails along the riverfronts still had railroad tracks on them.

Great Outdoors Week, which opens Friday with learn-to-row and learn-to-paddle classes and a bike ride on some of the city's trails, will provide 10 days of events throughout the Western Pennsylvania area.

This weekend, for instance, events range from a tree-climbing contest at 8 a.m. Saturday in Lawrenceville's Arsenal Park to a green house open house that starts at 9 a.m. Saturday in Butler County.

A variety of organizations sponsor the events, from the Three Rivers Rowing Association in Millvale to the Jennings Environmental Education Center in Slippery Rock, which is having a wildflower walk at 2 p.m. Sunday.

While they are the organizations behind the week, the efforts are coordinated by Sustainable Pittsburgh, which provides a website to organize activities.

Opening weekend events include an 8.4-kilometer run at 9 a.m. Saturday in Washington County, a lakeside cleanup at 9 a.m. Saturday at Moraine State Park in Butler County and bike rides in Robinson and on city trails at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Sunday, respectively.

Events continue at various locations throughout the week. Most of them are free.

A complete list of activities is at www.wallsarebad.com .

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