Our Volunteers Matter

Volunteer Profiles

Julie Ewing

Volunteering Since: 2008

Julie Ewing has lived in the tight-knit community of Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill since 1999. Along with her hobby of mushroom gathering, she’s always had an affinity for improving her neighborhood. Julie joined other neighbors – self-named the “Troy Hooligans” – who wanted to make their community better, leading trash pick-ups, community garden plantings and even arranged a local mural. The Troy Hooligans became connected to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s TreeVitalize Pittsburgh partnership through their work as Tree Tenders with Tree Pittsburgh. Julie realized that tree plantings and tree care were fun and rewarding ways to give back to her neighborhood.

Tell us about your favorite volunteer experience at the Conservancy.
On April 7, Provident Charter School, a local elementary school designed for children with dyslexia, had a tree planting with fresh snow on the ground. Despite the weather, we had 54 volunteers, including students and their siblings, parents, teachers, neighborhood tree tenders and even volunteers from outside the neighborhood. After the planting we all had lunch together. At this point you could see that along with planting trees that day, we were also building a community. And the kids had a BLAST!

What motivates you to stay involved in the Conservancy as a volunteer?

I love the instant gratification of planting a big a tree in our neighborhood, and the pride I feel every time I see that tree. Most of my friends in the neighborhood are Tree Tenders, so this also provides us a time to get together. Plus, Troy Hill Tree Tenders always have the best lunches after each tree planting!

What would you tell someone who is interested in becoming involved as a WPC volunteer?

I would definitely recommend volunteering! You learn a lot. And, the Conservancy is super organized and efficient. You’ll love the feeling of accomplishment—it will leave a smile on your face!

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy considers applicants and volunteers without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, sexual preference, disability, marital status or veteran status.