East Liberty Development, Inc. is happy to welcome Maggie Graham and Loralyn Fabian! Maggie will serve as the new Communications Coordinator. She’s taking over for Tiffany Clark, updating you on East Liberty developments, events, news and ongoing projects. Maggie comes to ELDI through the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE).
As a Southwestern Pennsylvania native, Maggie has always had a desire to live in the city. After graduating from Waynesburg University with a degree in Communication and Sociology, she chose to participate in PULSE as a way to live in the City of Pittsburgh and act on the potential she sees in the East End neighborhoods.
PULSE is an eleven-month program based out of East Liberty dedicated to bringing young people to Pittsburgh. Maggie and seven other individuals are placed at non-profit organizations, using their unique talents and abilities to continue the revitalization of the city. In addition to serving at their placements, PULSErs also participate in leadership training and service projects.
If you have any questions about East Liberty or ELDI, leave a comment or contact Maggie at margaret.graham(at symbol)eastliberty.org. Keep checking the Post and East Liberty Happenings!
Since mid February, ELDI has had a new Green Project Associate on board! Loralyn is placed through the Student Conservation Association’s Green Cities Corps program. As a 2009 graduate from the Pennsylvania State University in Landscape Architecture, Loralyn not only contributes to ELDI’s sustainable/green projects through her environmental background, but she also brings a new skill set to the table: her landscape design talent.
With her 10-month placement more than half way over, Loralyn has accomplished many environmental and design projects with ELDI. Her most in-depth project has been the design and implementation of five pilot urban residential rain gardens within the East Liberty neighborhood. Working with partners SEEDS, the Audubon Society/Three Rivers Rain Garden Alliance and our hard-working community member and architect, Gary Cirrincione, the rain gardens were assessed and designed. With the help of many enthusiastic volunteers, the gardens were put in the ground over several days in June and July. To check out the finished rain gardens, swing by 5556 Black St., 5546 Hays St., 5490/5488 Hays St., 5484 Hays St. and 826 Chislett St.!
Earlier in the year, Loralyn planned and executed a very large cleanup of the Negley Run Blvd. slopes with assistance from our partners Allegheny Cleanways, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Cares and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Neighborhood residents and crews from Penn State University also assisted. Overall, 157 volunteers picked up 50 tires, filled 150 trash bags and 2 dumpsters, created 11 piles of larger litter and hauled 4500 lbs of scrap metal out of Negley Run Boulevard! We estimate that it was one of the largest cleanups that had ever happened in the East End.
In March, Loralyn wrote and submitted three TreeVitalize applications for East Liberty. TreeVitalize is a program that hopes to plant 20,000 trees by 2012 throughout the Pittsburgh region in order to improve our quality of life and the environment. In August, ELDI received great news: TreeVitalize awarded trees for all three applications! Plantings will occur this fall on Sheridan Avenue between East Liberty Boulevard and St. Marie Street. Another planting will occur along Stanton Avenue east of N. Highland Avenue. The final planting location is on Black Street between N. Aiken Avenue and N. Negley Avenue. ELDI is proud to partner with the great residents and stakeholder groups of Highland Park and Garfield to complete these plantings.
Car Free Fridays was an event Loralyn helped to plan with Bike PGH for June. Each month, Car Free Fridays highlights a different neighborhood or municipality in our region to promote active/alternative transportation. Loralyn also developed and led a bike tour with informational talks throughout the East Liberty neighborhood. She led this tour with the assistance of a Venture Outdoors experienced biker that evening.
ELDI has been implementing green projects within a particular district of East Liberty, the Elm Street District, through a grant from the State of Pennsylvania. With a portion of this grant, Loralyn planned and designed a pilot shrub planting for East Liberty Boulevard between Negley Avenue and Euclid Avenue. With assistance from partner Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, the plants were ordered and the plan was implemented in July. Currently, Loralyn is conducting outreach to residents and schools within the district in order to get them interested in trees for a potential fall planting.
Lastly, Loralyn helped to coordinate the National Night Out celebrations with former ELDI Public Ally Tiffany Clark, which occurred in the neighborhood on August 3rd. National Night Out helps to promote neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships in the fight for a safer nation. Block groups and apartment buildings within East Liberty had parties, cook-outs, and activities that evening to build community and to have “eyes on the street”.
Loralyn has had an eventful year so far. In addition to her work at ELDI, Loralyn has also been working with the Student Conservation Association. To learn more about her SCA projects, background, education, career goals, and passions, visit http://www.thesca.org/greencities/node/46427.