I’d like to amplify Marcus Rediker’s June 11 letter to the editor “Great Parks Workers.” Mr. Rediker wrote: “Let us never forget that the public parks are one of the greatest things about our city, and let us always remember to thank the people who work so hard to make them so.” He notes specifically Department of Public Works employees — deservedly so!—but we shouldn’t forget the value of volunteers.
The Pittsburgh Greenspace Alliance, comprised of over 30 local organizations, works to promote the important role that green spaces have in the city — benefiting the economy, environment and public health. These groups raise significant money and provide stewardship for many of the city’s parks, trails and green spaces. These diverse groups include the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Mount Washington Community Development Corp., Tree Pittsburgh, Bike Pittsburgh and many more.
In 2013, Pittsburgh Greenspace Alliance groups organized well over 100,000 volunteer hours in Pittsburgh’s parks and green spaces — planting trees, removing invasive plants, maintaining trails and removing litter.
The value these organizations provide is difficult to quantify, but the volunteer services in 2013 alone added up to more than a $16 million investment back into the city. Those are the kinds of partners we all need!
First Published June 29, 2014 12:00 AM