Pittsburgh, Pa. – May 15, 2020 – Now that some COVID-19 restrictions are easing for most counties in the region, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is seeking volunteers to assist with planting some of its community flower gardens in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

GARDENS-Volunteer-Planting-Washington-2014-300x400Healthy people of all ages who want to get outdoors and help beautify local communities can sign up now to volunteer through mid-June. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, volunteers will be asked to follow social distancing and public health guidelines.

WPC also established additional safety protections to help keep volunteers safe during garden volunteering events. For example, WPC will limit the number of volunteers to 15 per garden and all volunteers will be required to wear a mask and bring their own gardening tools. A full list of the safety protections is located on WPC’s website, WaterLandLife.org.

“Nature is therapeutic in stressful times, so many people have been signing up to help plant the gardens,” said Art DeMeo, the director for WPC’s Community Gardens and Greenspace program. “Volunteers also benefit by getting fresh air, physical exercise and the satisfaction of helping nature and our gardens work. But our goal remains the same, to make sure everyone stays healthy and safe while volunteering their time with us.”Volunteer Profile_ECHO Realty_Highland Park Bridge

For more than 30 years, WPC has worked with communities across the region to create highly visible community flower gardens in public places across the region, installed each year with the help of thousands of local volunteers. But this year due to COVID-19, volunteer turnout is expected to decrease. Also, some gardens located either on school properties, under construction or in need of financial sponsors will not be planted.

Lynn McGuire-Olzak, a volunteer coordinator for the gardens program, said the container-bound flowers are now blooming and need to be put in the ground soon to grow. “We will greatly appreciate all the volunteer help we can get now for plantings and in the future for weeding projects to maintain the gardens,” she added.

Individuals, community groups and families can sign up to volunteer by contacting Lynn at lmcguire-olzak@paconserve.org or 412-586-2324.

In addition to the community gardens, WPC will have future volunteer opportunities available to help build trails, pull invasive plants and clean-up our nature reserves. Interested individuals should also call 412-288-2777 for more information.

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About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish 11 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, now on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 132 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of more than 11,000 volunteers. The work of WPC is accomplished through the support of more than 9,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.

Media Contact:
Carmen Bray
Director of Communications
412-586-2358
cbray@paconserve.org