Fun with Stats: What You Accomplished This Year

December 11, 2014 by Lauryn Stalter

It's tough telling the world all that you mighty parks volunteers accomplish.

We love posting photos of smiling volunteers. But pictures don't show the torrential downpours, blizzards, and mucky hillsides that you have weathered.

We love sharing stats from volunteer days. But those stats can't tell the story of every tree planted or privet hedge pulled.

When looking back at the stats from this year's volunteer events (over 100!), even we have a hard time wrapping our heads around the numbers, all of the work that you have done. This year, we've translated this data into something a little easier to visualize. Look and be amazed at what you incredible volunteers have accomplished:

Volunteers could have filled Carnegie Music Hall

Fedex volunteers with the Pirate Parrot

All in all, 1,800 volunteers spent time improving the parks this year. With that number of people, you could have filled Carnegie Music Hall almost to its 1,950-seat capacity. (Of course, we would have asked for everyone to take off their muddy boots first.)

Volunteers planted a tree a day

Volunteers planting trees in Schenley Park

You planted trees of all sizes and species this year throughout the parks. The 365 trees planted could have been spread out, one for every day in 2014.

Volunteers worked on a length of trails equal to the height of the US Steel Tower

Volunteers reestablishing trails in Schenley Park

Standing at 841 feet is the tallest building in Pittsburgh, the US Steel Tower. You cleared and built 835 feet of trails, making them safer, more accessible, or just making them, period.

Volunteers cleared nine years' worth of trash

Volunteers clearing trash in Kennard Park in the Hill District

Assuming that the average person is responsible for putting out one bag of garbage every week on trash day, and that there 52 weeks a year, you took out nearly nine years' worth of one person's trash. You hauled over 450 bags of trash bags full of glass, plastic, and objects that ranged from the everyday to the peculiar on playgrounds, hillsides, and through the parks.

Volunteers worked as long as a 331 Harry Potter movie marathons

Mighty crew leaders play around in Frick Park

You clocked more than 6,500 hours of work in the parks this year. This amount of time was a lot more productive than watching every one of the Harry Potter movies 331 times.

Volunteers pulled enough garlic mustard to feed every Pittsburgher some pesto

Volunteer clearing invasives from a newly planted tree

OK, so we may not have the numbers backing this one up, but we do know that you pulled truckloads of garlic mustard this year (270 garbage bags, to be exact). Enough, we think, to make a tremendous amount of garlic mustard pesto.

If all of that wasn't impressive enough, you also planted 8,000 bulbs, 10,138 annuals, removed many more bags of invasive plants, and worked on more specific projects in the parks. You also worked as data volunteers and tabling volunteers, helping us make the parks better and better with whatever skills you could share.

THANK YOU, you fabulous volunteers, you! Your parks are in great hands... yours! We can't wait to work with you in the parks again in 2015.

Ecological Restoration, Trees and Forestry, Volunteering