Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Teamwork for a Cause Young, Old Work to Reduce Storm Water with Tree Pits

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Teamwork for a Cause Young, Old Work to Reduce Storm Water with Tree Pits

Article excerpt

Ian McMeans, Homestead borough manager, said he hopes to install five tree watering pits near Barrett Elementary School in early September as part of the Transforming Twelfth Project.

The project is being done collaboratively by Steel Valley students, teachers and administrators in the district's Creating Value Program; and by Homestead officials and members of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

The specially engineered tree pits will take storm water off the street and into the pits to water the trees. Additional water from the pits will flow back into the sewage system.

Mr. McMeans said the tree pits will help reduce the amount of storm water going into the borough's combined sewage system, and begin to meet a consent decree from Alcosan to reduce storm water input.

Michael Knoop of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy said the trees will be planted in late October or early November.

The tree pit engineering and other expenses will be paid for with a $30,000 grant obtained by the conservancy from the PNC Charitable Foundation, and with a $10,000 grant obtained by Homestead from the Allegheny County Conservation District.

Mr. McMeans said he believes Steel Valley students will later create flower beds around the trees, which will be planted along Twelfth Avenue in front of the gymnasium/classroom addition.

The Transforming Twelfth project will be the second one done by students in the Creating Value Program.

The first Creating Value project, which is still in progress, was coming up with plans to turn the high school wrestling room into a design studio.

First, 13 students, mostly ninth- and 10th-graders, plus four teachers and superintendent Ed Wehrer, were sent through training at the Luma Institute in Pittsburgh.

There, they learned concept mapping, creative matrices and importance/difficulty matrices, Steel Valley special projects manager and Park Elementary School principal Thomas Shaughnessy said. …

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