Your Parks, Your Stories: Community Nature Educator Chastity

July 5, 2018 by Parks Conservancy Staff

The Your Parks, Your Stories series features park users and staff and their personal experiences in Pittsburgh's parks. Click here to share your own park story. 

Image of ChastityAll through school, I thought that I would be an accountant.

That was until I went to Science & Technology Academy. There are four concentrations there and when it was time to pick mine, I was set on engineering. But when it came time to select my concentration,my mom accidentally chose Environment & Energy instead of Forms & Functions.

So, there I am on the first day of 10th grade thinking I would be doing engineering and my schedule said environmental science! I didn’t complain though, I just went with it.

Weeks went by and I came to realize that this had to be the best concentration: We always had cool science projects, informative field trips, and our teacher got us involved in the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s High School Urban EcoStewards. We would walk from our school in Oakland to Schenley Park to help pull invasive species. Little did I know that I’d return to do work with Parks Conservancy later in life.

Chastity at a Buzzword family event

When college came I still had engineering in my mind, so I set out to study Environmental Systems Engineering. Not long after, I changed my mind and transferred to Penn State Altoona to study Environmental Studies. In the second semester of my sophomore year, I found out about a summer camp counselor position with the Parks Conservancy.

The excitement was real for me. Imagine being in college and being able to get real experience in your field. During my camp position, I also helped with Buzzword. These experiences helped me to think of what I could do in the future.Chastity at an Art in the Park program in August Wilson Park

The following summer, I returned to the Parks Conservancy as their Buzzword intern. My experiences were amazing. I didn’t expect to go to real meetings every day or attend a national conference. Eventually, a position opened up and I became the Conservancy's Community Nature Educator.

Since starting as the Community Nature Educator, I've played a big role in the Conservancy's Buzzword events, coordinated Junior Garden Buds programs for kids ages 4 - 9, and helped to kick-start new all-ages programming in August Wilson Park. 

I'm so excited for all of the amazing events planned this summer. Join me in the parks for any of these free events!

August Wilson Park Summer Celebration | Celebrate the summer with us with crafts, refreshments, games and activities on July 31 |Click here for more information 

Art in the Park|Thursday events at August Wilson Park for adults ages 50+ includes free art activities| Click here for more information

Free Family Fun|Tuesday events at August Wilson Park featuring free activities for families | Click here for more information

Junior Garden Buds|Free monthly program for kids ages 4 - 10 and their families at the Frick Environmental Center|Click here for more information