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North Hills Monthly

April Provides Many Opportunities to Celebrate Earth Day

Apr 02, 2017 12:03PM ● By Jennifer Monahan

Jan Nocita with students in the Shaler North Hills library

Against all odds, an area of the country known for its steel-town roots has become nationally recognized as a hub for sustainability, “green” technology and restaurants that specialize in farm-to-table deliciousness. Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas have earned the right to celebrate Earth Day in all its glory. 

North Hills’ residents looking to honor Earth Day (April 22) in a special way this year have a multitude of unique options from which to choose.

Join the Earth Day Celebration in Pine Township. Children ages 5-12 and their families are invited to gather at Pine Park Lake for an afternoon of outdoor fun and education. Families will enjoy earthy activities, recycling games, hiking and more. The celebration is from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. Pre-registration is required; residents pay a discounted fee of $10. Information is available at

Stop by the Juvenile Fiction Room of the Shaler North Hills Library for the Earth Day Recycling Relay at 11:15 a.m. on April 22. The library staff will celebrate with games, activities, and a relay race that involves sorting recyclables and trash. Librarian Jan Nocita is passionate about environmental education and hopes that the Earth Day Recycling Relay will help children understand how important and how easy it is to recycle. The library will also be running a free seed swap during the entire month of April in the adult reading room. Find out more at

Richland Township is holding an Earth Day Spring Creek Clean-Up event. Volunteers are needed to help clean up Deer Creek in Gibsonia. All ages and groups are welcome. Refreshments and all clean-up supplies will be provided. Sara Knapp, coordinator for environmental compliance and sustainability for the township, said that she hopes the event will be both a fun way for people to get involved in the community as well as an opportunity to learn something new about the stream and why clean water is so important. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on April 22. Register to volunteer at

While not technically an Earth Day event, John Denver lovers can celebrate the day with Chris Collins and members of Boulder Canyon at the Strand Theater in Zelienople. Two acoustic-style concerts will pay tribute to Denver’s iconic music, and fans will remember that Denver was a well-known environmentalist as well as a music legend. Ron Carter, president and executive director at the Strand, said Collins is an amazing entertainer who weaves stories about John Denver into the show. Because the show has become so popular and draws sell-out crowds, Carter added a second performance. The musicians will play at 2 p.m. and at 8 p.m. on April 22. Tickets are $20-$25. Details and tickets are available at

If crowds and organized events are not your scene, celebrate the day by exploring some of the amazing outdoor parks in the area. Moraine State Park boasts over 16,000 acres and offers hiking, biking, geocaching, birding, disc golfing and environmental education. North Park has fishing, kayaking, walking and running trails and multiple playgrounds. Feeling less energetic? Pack a picnic and a good book and enjoy some time communing with nature.

Go see The Man Who Planted Trees, a theatrical adaptation of Jean Giono’s environmental classic which tells the story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn, transforming a barren wasteland. The touching yet hilarious puppet show demonstrates the difference one man and his dog can make in the world. The show is playing at the Trust Arts Education Center from April 6–8, and is recommended for ages 7 and older. Tickets are $10.50 and details are available at

Explore the Elise Adibi – Respiration Paintings exhibit in the Frick Museum Greenhouse. Adibi is a nationally recognized contemporary artist who melds interests in formal structure with the human connection to nature. Her work will serve as the basis for an installation that creates a living environment of plants and paintings. The exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 20. Admission is free. Find out more at

Celebrate with hundreds of your closest friends and neighbors at Earth Day in Frick Park. This free community celebration kicks off on Friday, April 21, with a community campfire. Tree planting and park beautification are scheduled for the morning of April 22, followed by hiking with expert naturalists in the afternoon. Local musicians will perform a solar concert in the evening. Registration is required for some events. Details are online at

Pittsburgh Earth Day is a three-day event that kicks off downtown on April 20. One fun highlight will be Paint the Square Green in Market Square on April 21 and 22, with live music and a world market featuring vendors who specialize in earth-friendly products and services. Details are available at