For the past three years the PSL has been offering Service Projects as a way to give back to the communities we play PSL sports in. Our vision is for people to play more than just their games in Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods, but also become a part of the community through volunteer options, and Hometown Hot Spot locations. We often receive feedback about field, park and area conditions and while we are limited with the work we can do at places we strategically partner with neighborhood groups to make an impact where we can. Our Service Projects are always coordinated with with help of The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC). The PPC’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of Pittsburgh by restoring the park system to excellence in partnership with government and the community. All of PPC’s projects and programs are conducted with respect for the environment, historic design, and the needs of our diverse region.
When we are picking locations we try and go to areas and parks that truly need our help and partnership. We also try to partner with programs, projects, groups or campaigns that are not only cool but also ones that we think our members and players will find relevant. Past projects have included:
- Restoring the park area around Dilworth Field – a kickball field in Mt. Washington that the PSL uses four days a week.
- Working with Allegheny GoatScape to prepare Emerald View Park in the South Side Slopes for GoatFest (when goats come to eat the invasive species ruining our park’s native tree and plant habitat). The Slopes area is home to several PSL fields.
- Partnering with The Hilltop Alliance at the Hilltop Urban Farm – which is preparing the land to become the United State’s largest urban farm. At this time the PSL was playing at the field across from the Hilltop Urban Farm main entrance.
- Working at the Highland Park garden to prepare the garden for winter. Highland Park is the home of all of our summer sand volleyball leagues and annual tournament.
- Partnering with Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith in Sheraden Park for their annual Fall Clean-Up. The West End is home to many PSL favorite fields that we hope to continue to play in that area.
We plan to host two more service projects in 2019. The first one is scheduled for Friday May 10th in Riverview Park. The second will take place in the fall. If you have suggestions on where we should volunteer, please email Jaime – we would love to know what you think!
For our first service project this year we wanted to volunteer in the North Side, since that is the home of so many of our PSL game fields – including Fineview, Manchester, Cowley, Gardner, and Spring Hill. Riverview Park came to the front as a good location for a few reasons. First, when a staff member attended one of of the Pittsburgh Park’s Conservancy’s Listening Tour Events, they learned that Riverview Park is the City’s Regional Park in the worst shape. So, we knew they needed help. Second, Riverview Park has been hit very hard with landslides in past year. At the most recent Friends of Riverview Park Community Meeting, it was quoted that the park is dealing with 7 active landslides – which have affected multiple trails. That’s why this project will focus on trail building. This will be fun and tough work that we are confident in our able bodied players and supporters can not only handle, but enjoy! It will also be a lasting impact on the community, the park and the North Side!
For this project we are excited to be partnering with Friends of Riverview Park and The Northside Youth Mountain Club. We look forward to supporting their work and uplifting the North Side and Riverview Park communities!
Volunteer efforts like these support a broad community that can then utilize the park trails and that supports both our Mission and Advocacy and Public Policy Agenda. We are a part of the footprint of the neighborhoods we go and play in, and we at PUMP want to leave these areas better than when we got to them. So please join us on the trails and volunteer on May 10th! All participants over the age of 21+ will receive a complimentary beer after the service project and a t-shirt.