Help us with a native habitat plant restoration project near Pittsburgh, USA



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  • Beschreibung


    I have an opening for a fully vaccinated volunteer or couple. Projects are making cages for tree planting, tree maintenance and removing non-native invasive plants.

    A room in my house for a single person or a couple is available.

    In 2022 spring 300 native alder seedlings are planned to be planted not only on my land but also on township parks, county parks, Allegheny Land Trust lands and scout camps. Spring 2022 we have already planted 646 native seedlings.

    Present projects are clearing the woods, hauling logs, pulling out nonnative invasive shrubs with a weed puller (Pullerbear) and preparing grounds for fall plantings of native trees and shrubs and forbs. There is a project to work on building a cabin in the woods. Also maintaining a plant nursery on my front porch. Plantings of 600 native tree and shrub seedlings are planned for each spring and each fall.

    I spearheaded a blueberry project. 18 April 2022 I received 1000 blueberry plants with the majority being given away to economically stressed black and brown communities in the Pittsburgh area. These communities do not have much tree canopy, and this lack of shade is a boon for growing blueberries. The project combines environmental activism with racial and social justice.

    Outside of the room I have available for volunteers, volunteers are also welcome to bring their own recreational vehicle (camper) or tent (for a tent, think the warmer months of the summer) to sleep in.

    Preference is for people who love to be outside (in addition to their typical work in the woods) in the woods. If you already live in Pittsburgh and would like to volunteer during the day, we have many projects. For volunteers who wish to live in my house, the expectation is that you are completely vaccinated or willing to get completely vaccinated (being that the vaccination shots are free at local pharmacies) as well as wear a mask indoors for the first two weeks.

    In July 2021, a WorkAway volunteer cleared some of the woods with a wheelbarrow as well as cut up logs with an electric battery powered chainsaw. We prepared grounds for planting a couple hundred seedlings in October. We will planted several hundred seedlings on other creeks in October to help out Allegheny County.

    We transplanted 50 eastern redbuds, 25 silky dogwoods and 50 blackhaw viburnums in July 2021.

    We planted 107 hackberry seedlings in June 2021.

    We planted 300 silky dogwoods, 50 blackhaw viburnums and 50 eastern redbuds in April 2021.

    We planted 300 spruce, 6 white oak and 9 mulberry seedlings in May 2021.

    There is also a nursery for growing of native wildflowers which will be transplanted in the woods.

    In the countryside-near-Pittsburgh, typical informal University of Pittsburgh associate professor also manages a large native plants (trees, shrubs and forbs) restoration project on about 15 acres (about 6 hectares) of woods (1 acre woods and some 14 acres of adjoining woods of agreeable neighbors).

    Please note that as a host I need to check the WorkAway website for emails which I try to do each day. I am not notified in advance of emails to me, and there does not exist an app for hosts as there is for travellers. It typically takes me several hours to respond the first time to an enquiry as I am not checking every hour so please be patient. If I subsequently give you my gmail address, then please use that address if you wish quicker replies. Thanks. We have been able to pick up Workawayers arriving either at the Pittsburgh airport, bus station (Greyhound or Megabus) or train station (Amtrak). Also if you give your cell phone number in your Workaway message to me, you are likely to get a faster response. I have hosted workaway volunteers who came in an RV (recreational vehicle); we have space to park such large vehicles too. We also have space to pitch a tent.

    We prefer, if possible, volunteers who plan to stay a minimum of a month as then they will have enough time to actually learn something though we understand some last minute workawayers only have perhaps 2 weeks. We also prefer interactive volunteers rather than just retreating to their room most of the time. Share meals and conversations, help with cooking and household chores. We strongly prefer a phone, often with video such as FaceTime, conversation before actually setting dates of arrival and departure as well as answering any other questions anyone may have.

  • Arten von Hilfe und Lernmöglichkeiten

    Arten von Hilfe und Lernmöglichkeiten

    Hilfe bei Ökoprojekten
    Heimwerker- und Bauarbeiten
    Handwerkliche Arbeiten

  • UNO-Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung, die dieser Gastgeber verfolgt

    UNO-Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung, die dieser Gastgeber verfolgt

    Keine Armut
    Kein Hunger
    Gesundheit und Wohlergehen
    Hochwertige Bildung
    Sauberes Wasser und Sanitärversorgung
    Bezahlbare und saubere Energie
    Menschenwürdige Arbeit und Wirtschaftswachstum
    Industrie, Innovation und Infrastruktur
    Weniger Ungleichheiten
    Nachhaltige Städte und Gemeinden
    Nachhaltige Konsum- und Produktionsmuster sicherstellen
    Maßnahmen zum Klimaschutz
    Leben unter Wasser
    Leben an Land
    Frieden, Gerechtigkeit und starke Institutionen
    Partnerschaften zur Erreichung der Ziele
  • Kultureller Austausch und Lernmöglichkeiten

    Kultureller Austausch und Lernmöglichkeiten

    150 eastern white pine, 400 spruce, 300 serviceberry, 125 graystem dogwood, 100 red twig dogwood, 50 buttonbush, 100 American plum, 100 crabapple, 107 hackberry, pagoda dogwood, swamp white oak, chestnut oak, black gum, Canadian hemlock, river birch, paw paw, hophornbeam, American hornbeam and numerous ninebark, monarda, coneflower, cardinal flower, obedient plant, golden Alexanders and other forbs have been planted in the last 60 months. A workawayer could learn how to help prepare grounds for such mass plantings as well as learn how to remove invasive species such as tree of heaven, privet, Japanese stiltgrass, Oriental bittersweet, buckthorn, multiflora rose and garlic mustard.

    The work we do is designed as a demonstration project with lots of things for others to learn, take with them and disseminate elsewhere.

    Possible skills to learn:
    Native plants identification and planting and growing
    Invasive plants identification and removal
    Wild bird identification by sight and by song (learn to record your observations on eBird)
    Habitat restoration landscaping
    Hand tool proficiency (hammer, pliers, clippers)
    Bicycle maintenance

  • Projekte mit Kindern

    Projekte mit Kindern

    Dieses Projekt schließt möglicherweise den Umgang mit Kindern ein. Mehr Informationen findest du in unseren Verhaltensregeln und Tipps hier.

  • Arbeit


    Restoring our woods and woods of neighbors (altogether some 15 acres) with native trees, shrubs and flowers. Principal task is removing logs from cutdown invasive trees and removing non-native invasive shrubs, vines, flowers and grasses such as Japanese stiltgrass, Oriental bittersweet, multiflora rose and garlic mustard. Also building cages of chicken wire to protect new trees and shrubs from deer. Manual help such as hauling logs with a wheelbarrow would be great. Also digging holes (have gas-powered auger to make it easier) for planting. In the past 4 years, about 2000 trees and shrubs have been planted to help restore the habitat to attract songbirds and other wildlife. The plan is to continue planting at least 500 native perennial trees and shrubs and many forbs each year.

    There is a lot of potential work to do. This is a hobby native plant restoration project. At the moment, the main jobs are removal of non-native invasive plants and the planting of native plants on about 15 acres (about 6 hectares) of land. I highly recommend reading "Bringing Nature Home" by Douglas Tallamy to help get an idea of some of the things we are doing and the general rationale for this project. A more recent Tallamy book is "Nature's Best Hope. A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in your Yard."

    Here's an idea of what we are currently working on:

    Daily Activities:

    Short Term Projects:
    clearing maintenance of creek riparian zone

    Long Term Projects:
    Develop a prairie with native warm season grasses
    Develop a large fenced-in vegetable garden
    Interior house painting
    Build a one room well insulated elevated house in the woods

    Replacing acres of non-native invasive privet shrubs with native aspen seedlings to attract American woodcock nesting.
    Getting bird species that have been in 50 percent decline or more over the past 50 years to return and nest in the area (such as wood thrush; also hooded warbler, Louisiana waterthrush, northern bobwhite). If you have a smartphone, you can load the Merlin (Cornell Ornithology) for bird identification and bird songs, Song Sleuth (especially for bird songs) and eBird (for recording bird sightings as well as to see past data) apps.

    Style: We strive for a relaxed style. We promote problem solving, self-direction, and cooperative help. Our goal is to have concise direction followed by an engaged atmosphere in which we work towards a common goal. We are looking for help for all aspects of native plant restoration: gardening, digging, fencing, planting, bush clearing, irrigation, weeding, cooking, sleeping etc... If you are interested in being a jack or Jill of all trades and are interested in extended stay, this is the place for you. We strive for DIY as a way of self-empowerment and creative expression.

    What a volunteer day looks like: wake up and cook breakfast. Workawayers must be able to prepare breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner on their own. We provide the raw materials, e.g., rice, vegetables, beans, bread, eggs, cheese, PB, etc... We are omnivores, eating meat, mostly venison, in moderation. You are responsible for cleaning up after yourself. Depending on the weather, a day working outside starts early or later; for example, in the summer when it is hot, start at 6 am whereas in the winter work in the afternoon outside during the warmest peak of the day. For inclement weather we have projects of making tree cages inside the house as well as plant nursery work on the covered front porch. Workawayers do at least 4-5 hours of help a day. After that we have dinner and you are free to do as you like.

    We want to do what we can to provide a workable social space in which to learn and share knowledge about the restoration of native plants. If you have work gloves, boots and work clothes (long pants and a shirt or coveralls) that you can bring with you for doing tasks in the woods, that would be great. We do have some in stock.

  • Gesprochene Sprachen

    Englisch: Fließend
    Spanisch: Fließend
    Chinesisch (Mandarin): Grundkenntnisse

  • Unterkunft


    Food and accommodation is available for up to 25 hours help a week (4-5 hours per day, 5 days a week). Accommodation is simple and informal. The house is 250 feet (76 meters) from the road. The property is 2.6 acres. There is an acre of woods in the back. We have multiple bird species and other wildlife. Small bedroom off kitchen is available for workaway guest(s). Bathroom with shower is in the basement, and is rustic. The house is fed by a well, and the water pressure is ok. One needs to hold down the lever of the basement toilet for 9 seconds to flush. People with long hair need to make sure that loose strands of hair need to be removed from the shower drain after a shower. House has old carpets. Kitchen is small. House is from 1922 and needs some renovation (insulation etc.) which has yet to occur. House comes with two pianos and a guitar that guests are welcome to play.

  • Was noch ...

    Was noch ...

    The house is close to the city of Pittsburgh which is a beautiful vibrant city. A bus stop for a city bus line is 20 to 30 minutes walk down a steep hill. Some things to do are going for jazz at Andy's Wine Bar (Fairmont Hotel) or Con Alma, visiting parks such as Frick Park or Schenley Park and also playing tennis at Highland Park public tennis courts. We do not have dogs or cats due to health reasons. The house is next to a cemetery which is nice for walks or jogging or bicycling.

  • Etwas mehr Information

    Etwas mehr Information

    • Internet Zugang

    • Eingeschränkter Internet Zugang

      Eingeschränkter Internet Zugang

    • Wir besitzen Tiere

    • Wir sind Raucher

    • Familien möglich

  • Kann Digital Nomads unterbringen

    Kann Digital Nomads unterbringen

    I have good wifi service which I use often for zoom lectures and share with volunteers.

  • Platz zum Abstellen von Camper Vans

    Platz zum Abstellen von Camper Vans

    There is sufficient space to park a recreational vehicle or camper.

  • Kapazität - wie viele Workawayer maximal

    Kapazität - wie viele Workawayer maximal


  • ...


    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Korrekte Angaben im Profil: (4.8)

Kultureller Austausch: (5.0)

Kommunikation: (5.0)

Gastgeber Ref-Nr.: 876156639885