During March 2011, I have been working on finalizing the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan v 2.0. This has involved researching other cities’ climate action plans to be able to better measure our own climate initiative and develop ideas for additional recommendations in the new plan. To date, the additional recommendations are centered around community adaptation measures. In addition, I have been developing a newsletter for the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative to better promote our accomplishments and give us more publicity. The template for the newsletter is complete and I have begun adding content for distribution in April. I am in the midst of planning a movie screening of ‘Carbon Nation’ as a HECC outreach event on Earth Day. We will partner with student environmental organizations in Pittsburgh to promote the event and plan on advertising to local community members as well.
In March 2011 my time as an SCA Sustainability Fellow with the Allegheny County Sustainability Program has been eventful and rewarding. I perform a wide variety of tasks in support of efforts to implement measures that will result in a cleaner, more cost-efficient Allegheny County. In addition to such daily administrative tasks as scheduling meetings and delivering documents to County partners, I have also been engaged in numerous projects.
Under Jeaneen Zappa, I have worked with internal “green teams” to identify and support energy efficiency measures that are happening within each respective County department. As part of Allegheny Green’s outreach efforts, I have worked closely with Jeaneen in both designing an electronic newsletter and in research and writing articles for the newsletter. I have proofread and edited numerous documents related to sustainability efforts and recycling, and am currently closely involved with efforts to implement a more comprehensive and wide-spread recycling policy.
Currently we are partnering with the Purchasing Department to rewrite the County’s purchasing policies so that the County uses vendors who supply locally made products that are made safely and with minimal impact to the local environment. In addition, I am also engaged with Human Resources in the hopes that we will be designing and deploying an employee commuting survey that will highlight how County employees get to work and in what ways the County can support those employees who bike, walk, take transit or carpool.
I am very appreciative and grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me. In my opinion, I have an awesome assignment and my supervisor, Jeaneen Zappa, does a tremendous job in keeping me engaged in a variety of tasks that require me to wear many hats.
In March 2011 I have primarily focused on research for both of my placements. For ACTION-Housing, Inc. I have been compiling a list of potential resources – books, magazines, websites, organizations, community partners – for the Pittsburgh Green House (PGH). I have also been present for meetings with the PGH architecture team. Our next steps are to finalize the architectural plan and the weatherization educational tools that we will use for training purposes. I used the print newsletter – which was developed by the entire Green Team – as a template to create and send out our first online newsletter to 25 people. Since the March newsletter, I have created a new template for our online newsletter and sent out the April issue to 118 people. For my position with the Urban Forester, I have primarily conducted research on the best tree species to plant in order to mitigate air pollution and reduce incidents of asthma. I am also researching potential funding sources and creating a PowerPoint presentation to be used in order to secure funding for planting the busway with trees. I am attending Tree Tender classes and will be certified in April, at which point I will work with Bloomfield residents to draft a TreeVitalize request for neighborhood street trees.
I hit the ground running in March 2011. Penn State Cooperative Extension hosted the Local Foods Showcase in the 2nd week that brought in over 50 vendors and chefs and another 160 community members. Before the event I assisted in all aspects of the logistics and administrative preparation including designing nametags, table tents, stuffing folders and, day-of, manning a registration table as well as a vendor table. Another large majority of the month was focused on outreach via the Yum Pittsburgh blog and facebook page. I contributed two blog entries, with more soon to come, and increased facebook “likes” by 10%. I also helped create community awareness of Penn State Extension’s role by connecting a local teacher with resources on sustainability and by tabling for Penn State at an Environmental Resources Fair.
My first Pittsburgh Food Policy Council meeting had fewer attendees than usual because of the time of year but was still an excellent introduction to some of the councilmembers and their roles in the community. I took minutes, which I distributed to the steering committee, and started research on other Food Policy Councils with an eye towards gathering these councils in a regional symposium in late summer.
Jeff and I used March to brainstorm, connect, recruit, and plan for the next nine months of Pittsburgh Garden Experiment events. One event, Pruning and Espalier with Jana, went off without a flaw and had a great turnout. Other events, such as a Vacant Lot Remediation Course and a Composting Course, are gathering a lot of interest on the meetup site, already, and the calendar looks to be filling out quite nicely and with a broad range of events.
In March 2011 my time has been focused primarily on getting started with the Business Climate Coalition and working on the planning phases of the Green Workplace Challenge. I scheduled, planned, and executed the first BCC meeting of 2011 on March 30. Before the meeting I created an agenda and a background update document to be distributed to BCC members, and after the meeting I distributed meeting minutes to the BCC. We developed a timeline of events and tasks associated with the Green Workplace Challenge, spanning from March 2011 through the end of the competition in October 2012. I have maintained correspondence with the web developer who is working on the Green Workplace Challenge’s website and provided feedback and suggestions on navigation, content, format, and bugs. We have also identified a number of potential candidates for the Green Workplace Challenge oversight committee and determined the responsibilities for this committee. Lastly, I’ve begun learning to use the EPA’s Portfolio Manager Energy Accounting Software, which participating Green Workplace Challenge organizations must use to track their electric, natural gas, and water usage.
Amanda recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business with an MBA in Marketing. She also has a degree in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Amanda is new to the sustainability movement in Pittsburgh, and is looking forward to learning about and contributing to a number of projects throughout the city. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Amanda is enthusiastic about Pittsburgh and its future as a potential national environmental leader. She also loves the Steelers, the Penguins, playing and coaching Ultimate Frisbee, and cooking.
|City of Pittsburgh, Urban Forester (Partner)|
|ACTION-Housing, Inc. (Partner)|
|Map of Green Cities 2011 Partners|
|Group Against Smog & Pollution (Partner)|
|Urban Redevelopment Authority (Partner)|
|Global Links (Partner)|
|Sustainable Pittsburgh (Partner)|
|East Liberty Development Inc. (Partner)|
|Penn State Cooperative Extension (Partner)|
|Pittsburgh Garden Experiment (Partner)|
|Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy|
|Allegheny County Office of Sustainability (Partner)|
|Green Building Alliance (Partner)|
|Taiji Nelson's Bio|
|Megan Zeigler's Bio|
|Christov Churchward's Bio|
|David Chunn's Bio|
|Lauryn Stalter's Bio|
|Loralyn Fabian's Bio|
|Megan Morrissey's Bio|
|Miriam Parson's Bio|
|Lara Nagle's Bio|
|John Jameson's Bio|
|Matthew Henderson's Bio|
|Kyle Kline's Bio|
|Ann DeSanctis' Bio|
|Amanda Virbitsky's Bio|
|Matthew Henderson's October Update|
|John Jameson's October Update|
|Ann DeSanctis' October Update|
|David Chunn's October Update|
|Taiji Nelson's October Update|
|Amanda Virbitsky's October Update|
|Lara Nagle's October Update|
|Megan Zeigler's October Update|
|Megan Morrissey's October Update|
|Lauryn Stalter's October Update|
|Kyle Kline's October Update|
|Christov Churchward's October Update|
|Amanda Virbitsky's September Update|
|Ann DeSanctis' September Update|
|Taiji Nelson's Sept Update|
|Megan Zeigler's September Update|
|Matthew Henderson's September Update|
|Lauryn Stalter's September Update|
|John Jameson's September Update|
|Christov Churchward's September Update|