U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day on April 22, 1970, to create a national day for focusing on the environment. Later that year, Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Millvale is celebrating its own Earth Week from April 20 through 27 with a plethora of fun, educational activities promoting sustainability.
Here’s the schedule:
• 9 to 11 a.m.
Girty’s Run Earth Day Cleanup at Tazza D’Oro Café & Espresso Bar, 524 Grant Ave.
Meet at Tazza D’Oro to join the Girty’s Run Watershed Association in a roadside cleanup. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, a Keep America Beautiful Inc. affiliate, is providing gloves, vests and garbage bags. For one’s safety, wear closed-toe shoes. The group welcomes participants of all ages, but adults must accompany children.
Donna Pearson, Girty’s Run Watershed Association executive director, and Melissa Mason, organization president, plan to consult with borough officials prior to the event for a suggested route in need of trash removal.
“Everybody’s really abuzz in the community,” Mason said regarding Earth Week. “It’s really cool.”
• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cannabis Education Day, Millvale Community Library, 213 Grant Ave.
This event will feature vendors representing various facets of the marijuana industry, including: cannabis growing, medical marijuana, marijuana activism, hemp fashion and cannabidiol – CBD — beauty products.
• 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Millvale Community Library Garden Party
This event, featuring refreshments and music, aims to promote the library’s deck and garden renovation projects and solicit volunteers for the remaining work.
From 5 to 6 p.m., Mason, a library board member and teaching artist at the Point Breeze-based Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, will lead guests in creating a collaborative mosaic from discarded bottlecaps. The library will display the finished large, colorful piece, adorned with the word “Read” after the week ends.
• 6 to 8 p.m.
Free Soil Testing, Gardens of Millvale, 22 Butler St.
The Allegheny County Conservation District and DECO Resources environmental consultants and green design firm will test attendees’ soil for lead and arsenic.
Guests should provide samples of approximately ½ cup, dry and crumbled soil in zip-top bags. Staff will test the samples while others give a presentation on the characteristics of contaminates in urban soil.
Pearson said that, at the event, she intends to offer literature about lead in water.
• 6 to 7 p.m.
Arbor Day Tree Planting at Grant Avenue Pocket Park, 518 Grant Ave.
Years ago, someone vandalized a tree and the borough removed it. The Girty’s Run Watershed Association has worked to have a new one planted, Mason said.
“What’s really awesome about this borough is that when someone has a good idea, and that when they present it right, to the other things that are happening, everybody’s really on board and everybody’s really supportive,” she said.
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Tree Pittsburgh are donating the tree.
The Gardens of Millvale will supply tea samples. Millvale-based artist Hunter Colt Paulson of Thousandzz of Beez will perform. Borough officials will issue a proclamation.
• 10 a.m. to noon
Girty’s Run Cleanup, Evergreen Street
Help the Girty’s Run Watershed Association clean its PennDOT adopted highway route from Ohio Street to Seavey Road. Girty’s Run follows Millvale’s Evergreen Street, so keeping that area clean, in turn, can help keep the stream litter-free.
Attendees should wear closed-toe shoes for their safety; participants will receive vests, gloves and trash bags.
• 10:30 a.m. to noon
Watershed Awareness and Action Workshop, Millvale Community Center, 416 Lincoln Ave. This seminar is open to Millvale residents only.
The Pennsylvania Resources Council Inc. and Patagonia Pittsburgh will educate attendees regarding how to practice watershed protection and conservation in their own backyards. Registration is $10 and includes a 55-gallon rain barrel that would traditionally cost more than $100, according to Zaheen Hussain, New Sun Rising sustainability director and Millvale sustainability coordinator.
Pre-registration is required by calling Nancy at 412-488-7490, ext. 247.
• 7 to 9 p.m.
Launch Sustainability Showcase at the Millvale Moose, 112 E. Sherman St.
“The Launch Sustainability Showcase will be a celebration to close out Earth Week, open and free to all, and will feature six projects/organizations who received mini-grants to develop projects that advance community goals around sustainability. Each organization was part of a six-month program that connected them to project management and business planning resources, introduced through monthly workshops,” Hussain said of the New Sun Rising program.
Attendees will enjoy refreshments and mingle with the following Launch Sustainability recipients: Communicycle Aliquippa, The Girty’s Run Watershed Association, the Regional Ecodistrict Collaborative, PearlArts Dance Studio, The Millvale Sustainable Packaging Initiative and the Center for Civic Arts.
In addition to the activities throughout the week, Lisa Love, Business Association of Millvale (BAM) chairwoman said businesses in the central thoroughfare will compete to see which best cleanup and beautify their storefronts. She and Hussain noted that they also will compete to see which businesses score the highest on the Sustainable Pittsburgh Small Business Designation Program.