Yes, climate change is real and yes the time to act is now. The world we have come to know as our home is under the attack by none other than its own inhabitants. According to National Geographic, our world’s average temperature is increasing at twice the rate it was fifty years ago. This temperature spike will inevitably lead to a collapse of the Earth’s ecosystems if we–the world’s population–do not step up to combat the catastrophe. In order to take action, consider supporting local environmentally active organizations.
As a Pittsburgh high school student, I know finding opportunities to support your community and environment can be challenging. Volunteering can often be limited or denied because of age and experience requirements. However, with a little help from Google and my own experiences, I’ve gathered some teen-friendly nonprofits designed for students looking to take action against climate change!
*all links provided go directly to the organization’s volunteer site
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization working to improve the well-being of Pittsburgh’s citizens by caring for and revitalizing parks. However, they also organize educational outdoor events as well as community garden plantings to strengthen the community–all of which are open to volunteers!. To help out, decide what form of volunteer work (such as cleaning parks, organizing events, etc.) you would like to do, choose an event to work at from their calendar, then fill out an application.
Tree Pittsburgh is a nonprofit looking to improve the Pittsburgh area by “restoring and protecting the urban forest through tree maintenance, planting, education, and advocacy.”.
When volunteering, one could expect to do anything from cleaning up garbage in local parks to planting trees in urban spaces. To aid in their mission, visit their volunteer page and choose a date from their calendar. From here, fill out a volunteer registration.
Nine Mile Run Watershed Association
This association dedicates itself to protecting and conserving Pittsburgh’s East End watershed through public involvement in restorative as well as educational events. The NMRWA provides everything from educational tours to hands-on workshops to gain a deeper understanding of our ecosystems. In order to become involved, decide whether you will be volunteering with a group or individually; this will determine the kind of events you can participate in. After, you may pick an event date then finally complete a registration.
Friends of the Riverfront
This organization’s mission is to “build safe, clean, and accessible riverfront trails as part of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail system to create and maintain an outstanding experience for trail users while providing economic, environmental, and health benefits to the Pittsburgh region.“ Operating weekly on sections of Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, one can volunteer to help enhance the city’s trails and overall environment. All you need to do is fill out a stewardship (volunteer) application to get started.
Of course, there are many more programs and organizations one can look into if they are interested in giving back to Pittsburgh’s environment. There are always community gardens to maintain and never avoid considering going out into neighborhoods and doing some good on your own.