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A community-engaged, urban ecology project of Dr. Molly Mehling’s research lab in partnership with the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh and with support of many others working to rebuild Pittsburgh urban ecosystems.
Did you know that Pittsburgh has more trees than any city in the United States? Did you know some of your neighbors are salamanders? Did you know that the bugs who make their homes in the stream and soil can tell us how healthy the land is?
Get to know your “other” neighbors that also call Pittsburgh their home. These city dwellers — birds, trees, shrubs, and the bugs of land and water — are quietly working to engineer the world around you. They slow down urban runoff, provide shade, protection from air pollution, increased water infiltration in the soil, pollinate our flowers and food, and they can tell us about the health of our ecosystems. The science community studies these ecological communities nested in our cities that make them more livable, beautiful, and useful. The art community gives us unique ways to engage with data and urban nature.
Join in the activities between April 1st and April 29th, with ecologist Dr. Molly Mehling, conservation biologist Tori Stone, Waldorf School of Pittsburgh faculty, and many more local experts as we celebrate “life” in the city and how art and science can collaborate with nature to make Pittsburgh more livable for all.
Come to the grand opening and participate in art+science projects to learn about Pittsburgh’s topography, land use, plants, soil, and urban nature
Learn methods for monitoring the wildlife in your yard, park, or schoolyard developed through the BiodiverCITY project and by other Pittsburgh partners. Activities and programs may include:
Keep Pittsburgh Dirty – Learn about the engineers underfoot and how you can help Pittsburgh build its soil sponge
Layers of Life — Learn about what makes a plant community both fancy and functional. Join a regional data project to map the layers of green in your yard, school yard, or park.
Stream Stories — Learn how to tell the story of a stream by assessing the in-stream habitat, macroinvertebrates, and riparian vegetation.
Salamanders in the City — Learn which salamanders live alongside us and join our salamander monitoring project
Neighborhood Nestwatch — Learn about the National Aviary’s ongoing program that monitors backyard bird biodiversity
Learn about resources you can use to identify local flora and fauna (that’s plants and animals!)
Meet other local urban nature enthusiasts and initiatives
Attend a film screening and reception for “Water Blues, Green Solutions”
Prepare for spring with a make-your-own bug spray workshop
Improve your watercolor skills using environmental data as inspiration
Contact Dr. Molly Mehling, mmehling AT chatham.edu, or Tori Stone, victoria.stone AT chatham.edu, with questions. Visit biodivercitypgh.tumblr.com for updates and more information.