PGH Green Innovators
PGI Green Labs are dedicated to bringing green infrastructure education to Pittsburgh communities and schools. Local experts are brought in to assist, and the lessons culminate with hands-on projects that benefit the community. For example, the project at Schenley Heights Community Development Program collected 34,000 gallons of rainwater collected since 2015 and is used as an continuing educational tool.
PGI collaborated with The Penn State Center mitigate stormwater runoff on the six acre campus along Centre Avenue. Green infrastructure techniques used in this model include street trees, rain gardens, infiltration trenches and beds, restorative landscapes, porous paving, an artistic “dry stream” conveyance element and rain barrels.
With the support of The Heinz Endowments and funding from the Port of Pittsburgh Commission, PGI “Finding the Raindrops”, project installed 18 Stormworks rain barrels at One Hope Square following a one-weekenvironmental education program around stormwater education and art. In conjunction with the Experience Zone summer program at Hill House, PGI secured a Penn State University art professor, two Penn State Center interns and three local artists to engage 14 Hill District middle school students in five, daily 90-minute water cycle labs.
Through grants provided by the Allegheny County Conservation District and the Woodard Curran Foundation, Pittsburgh Green Innovators engaged students at Milliones University Prep in a Green Infrastructure education pilot program that featured guest speakers, hands-on learning labs and real world project implementation.
The final project consisted of decorating and installing three 132 gallon StormWise Rainbarrels at the Schenley Heights Community Development Program. 12th grade students painted their own designs on the rainbarrels with local artist Amir Rashidd before cutting downspouts, securing connections and installing drain plugs for proper rainbarrel installation. Students understanding increased through hands-on activities and were able to effectively demonstrate learning in the final project installation
Over the course of a week, Pittsburgh Green Innovators worked directly with twelve students associated with the Schenley Heights Community Development Program to design and build a rain garden. The middle-school age students were introduced to the issues of storm water runoff in the area and Green Infrastructure solutions.
The final rain garden consisted of design elements from each student. The students then worked with our staff to complete the hands-on learning experience by building the garden and actively improved their local community space in the process .