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An eighth-grader from West Mifflin Area Middle School took first place in a county-wide contest to create a poster to celebrate Earth Day tomorrow.
Meanwhile, many communities --- including McKeesport, East McKeesport, Glassport, Jefferson Hills and Port Vue --- are preparing to mark the 47th annual Earth Day on Saturday with community-wide clean up events, while West Homestead will have a flower-planting event.
Lauren Jacobs' colorful poster, shown above, won the poster contest, sponsored by the Allegheny County Health Department. This year's theme was "brighter paths in preserving energy."
Jacobs' poster features suggestions such as using energy-efficient light bulbs, installing solar panels, and trying alternative and renewable energy sources.
Jacobs will receive a $75 Barnes and Noble gift card, while her teacher will receive a $50 Staples gift card, a health department spokeswoman said.
Her poster, along with those of the second and third place winners, will be displayed for the public April 29 during FutureFest 2017 at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh's Schenley Park.
In McKeesport, a community-wide cleanup is being scheduled in most city neighbors, according to a spokeswoman for Mayor Mike Cherepko.
Clean-up sessions will begin at 10 a.m. and wrap up at 2 p.m., and groups have already been assigned throughout town, the spokeswoman said.
Volunteers are still needed and may call (412) 675-5020, ext. 605, to find a group near them that needs help, or may contact Joanne Welch at (412) 804-8395.
Port Vue will have clean-up bins available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday at the Romine Field parking lot, a spokesperson said.
Televisions also may be recycled for a $5 fee. The bins and the service are for the use of Port Vue Borough residents only.
In addition, volunteers will meet at the borough building on Romine Avenue at 10 a.m. and go throughout Port Vue until 1 p.m. to pick up trash and recyclables. No registration is needed, but volunteers should wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes, a long-sleeve shirt or jacket and long pants. Gloves and a safety vest will be supplied.
For more information, call Frank Cortazzo at (412) 589-1115.
Glassport firefighters, borough officials and members of the Royal Rangers of the Glassport Assembly of God Church will meet at 8 a.m. Saturday at 440 Monongahela Ave. for a "spring cleanup day."
Volunteers are needed to help pick up litter. For more information, contact Nancy Piazza-Whaby at (412) 672-7400.
East McKeesport will have a spring cleanup day focused on the business district and East Field, a spokesperson said. Volunteers should meet by 10 a.m. at the Chicora Street Playground, where gloves, garbage bags and safety vests will be distributed.
For more information, contact Paul Rosa at (412) 337-3734.
In Jefferson Hills, a community cleanup begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Jefferson Hills Borough Building, 920 Old Clairton Road, with a continental breakfast and distribution of cleanup supplies.
Groups can sign up for a location of their choice, but should contact Jane Milner for street assignments by calling (412) 973-7262.
Volunteers should dress safely and for the weather, a spokesperson said, while motorists should use caution when driving through cleanup zones.
The cleanup will continue until 12 noon.
In West Homestead, the borough is encouraging residents to help "Stop and Plant the Flowers" during a community "greening event" that begins at 10 a.m. at the West Homestead Volunteer Fire Department.
Volunteers should meet at the fire station first to register. Then, they'll help plant flowers along West Seventh Avenue, and then end the day with a free lunch of pizza at 1 p.m.
For more information, call Cindy Bahn at (412) 461-1844.
The Allegheny County Parks Department is inviting users of South Park to participate in a park cleanup from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday. Volunteers should meet at the Oliver Miller Homestead just off of Corrigan Drive.
For more information, call Gordon Fenn (412) 514-4001.
Earth Day was created in 1970 by former U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin after 3 million gallons of crude oil were spilled into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara, Calif., created an oil slick 35 miles long and killed thousands of birds, fish and other animals.
By 1990, Earth Day activities had spread to 141 countries, and in 1995, Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his efforts to raise environmental awareness. For more information, visit http://www.earthday.org, or to find a cleanup event in your part of Pennsylvania, visit http://www.gacofpa.org/great-american-cleanup-of-pa-find-an-event/
Originally published April 21, 2017.