Explore Solutions for Plastic Waste with New Events at the Frick Environmental Center

May 8, 2019 by Carya Cornell, Brian Nath, and Maureen Olinzock

As the cold of Winter breaks and the joys of Spring begin to blossom, opportunities abound to enjoy your local parks. Get outside and start your weekend in nature on Friday evening or Saturday morning at the Frick Environmental Center! On Friday, May 10 we kick off the Frick Park After Dark series. This series will take place every second Friday of the month from May through October with a workshop, live music, a few drinks, and a chance to purchase dinner from an awesome food truck on site. If you aren’t a night owl, join the early birds on Saturday, May 11 for our World Migratory Bird Day event where you can explore the diverse bird species in Frick Park as they migrate north for Summer. Both events tie together a pressing issue that impacts migrating birds and our entire planet: single-use plastics.

As you read this blog, you can likely find a plastic drinking water bottle in your vicinity with little effort. You may ask yourself, “what will happen to this water bottle during its lifetime?” Sadly, it may be among the 91% of plastic that is sent to landfills, rather than recycled. Plastics in landfills amount to an astounding 6.3 billion metric tons. This non-biodegradable plastic can persist for hundreds of years as it breaks down into “microplastics,” which are pieces of plastic that are invisible to the human eye and can be consumed by small organisms. This plastic is not digestible and remains in the small organisms when they become food for larger creatures higher on the food chain, such as when fish are eaten by birds. The lives of birds are threatened by the concentrated toxins in the plastic they consume and also the direct danger of becoming physically entangled in plastic waste. We can help promote a healthy environment and ecosystem by reducing our use of single-use plastics, and recycling that which we must use. Some ideas are to buy produce without plastic bags or clamshell packaging, buy your own BPA-free, reusable, water bottle, or cut out use of plastic food wrap and sandwich bags. You can take a step in this direction at Frick Park After Dark on Friday night and on Saturday, learn about and enjoy the beauty of the birds you’re helping to protect!

Come to the Frick Environmental Center at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 10 to make your own reusable bag or beeswax wrap at Frick Park After Dark with the help of Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. Included in the same $25 ticket, the fun continues from 7:00-9:00 p.m. under the stars in the outdoor amphitheater with live music by local, notable jazz artists Lee Robinson and ISKA, cold brews from Hitchhiker Brewing Co., and a $5 voucher toward the on-site street sushi and poke food truck Just Roll’d Up. NOTE: Even if you can’t join us for the event, the food truck is open for business to the public starting at 5:30 p.m. Stop by, grab a quick bite, and peek into the amphitheater to decide if you want to come to a future event.

On Saturday, May 11, celebrate World Migratory Bird Day at the Frick Environmental Center with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy along with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Three Rivers Birding Club, and the Feminist Bird Club of Pittsburgh. Bird banding will begin at 7:00 a.m. where you can get up-close while researchers weigh, measure, and band birds. Bird walks will depart at 7:15, 9:00, and 11:00 a.m. Activities with Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, Pennsylvania Resource Council, What’SUP Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy begin at 9:00 a.m. These activities will highlight ways to reduce plastic waste in the world and help birds at the same time. Each time you participate in a part of the event, you will receive a ticket for a prize drawing at 12:15 p.m. Prizes are donated by Three Rivers Outdoor Company, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Feminist Bird Club, and East End Food Coop. Stick around until the end because you must be present to win.

See you in the park this weekend!

For more information or to purchase tickets (also available at the event):
click here for Frick Park After Dark
click here for World Migratory Bird Day