Environmental Sustainability Board’s Abby Lawler-Morycz, right, and her daughter, Chloe, braved a wet Saturday to help with the Uptown Planter Blitz, a project coordinated by Mt. Lebanon Partnership with the aid of Wild Rose Landscape Design that refurbished planters in the uptown business district. Photo by Sam Oshlag
UPTOWN PLANTERS Uptown business owners and other volunteers who maintain the planters in the Washington Road Business District got some help this year from Wild Rose Landscape Design. Previously, volunteers designed, planted and cared for the planters in the business district. Many of the planters were interesting, but there was little continuity and as time passed, they showed varying conditions of health and maintenance.
A strategic plan for Uptown Mt. Lebanon released late last year identified the need for better branding of the district, and cited the condition of the planters as a problem in need of a solution.
“Some of the annuals would come back the following year, and some wouldn’t; essentially some of them ended up becoming weeds,” says Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron.
Wild Rose photographed each planter and owner Melissa Fabian and employees Patricia Beck and Laura Moore came up with a list of 36 suggested plants that would tie the 30 planters together, giving the street a cohesive and inviting design.
Wild Rose employees teamed with volunteers in May for a “planter blitz,” spreading topsoil and mulch and installing the perennials, which formed a base for small landscapes that could then be augmented with annuals chosen by the volunteers.
“All of these plants should thrive in the planters,” says Milliron. “If this takes, these should be with us for a long time.”
Gateway, Mt. Lebanon’s engineering firm, gave the municipality a $2,000 grant to cover the cost of plants and other expenses, and the Mt. Lebanon Partnership kicked in another $1,700.
Launched in 2014 by County Health Department Director Karen Hacker, Live Well is a comprehensive initiative aimed at reducing the incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart and pulmonary diseases.
To attain Live Well Allegheny status, a community must take at least three actions from a list of healthy practices. Mt. Lebanon Municipality’s healthy contributions include sponsorship of the Uptown Farmers’ Market and hosting events such as Martha’s Run, the Mogadishu Mile and Tour de Mt. Lebanon. The municipality at the first Uptown Farmers’ Market this spring.
Mt. Lebanon School District qualified by providing a comprehensive staff wellness program, a strong commitment to recycling and reuse in the schools and healthy snacks for students, staff and faculty, including unlimited fresh fruit and vegetables in the cafeterias.
“We see evidence each day that this effort is working,” says Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “While we’ve made improvements, we know there’s more work to do, which is why it’s so important to have so many organizations help in this effort.”
GROWING TOGETHER Growing Together—Connecting with Nature is the title of a three-entry series of fun and educational events to be held at the library this fall. Always a popular place for information about gardening and wildlife, the library agreed to host this series to further help residents learn more about plantings that will thrive in our area and how better to co-exist with the wildlife that share our backyards and gardens.
And as the speakers will discuss, promoting a healthy ecosystem means carefully considering plant choices and also taking various measures, such as deterring, attracting or simply ignoring the many animals, rodents, insects and “creepy crawlies” that surround us.
The first program, scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, from 7 to 8 p.m., in Room A will feature Jessica Walliser, a freelance horticulturalist. The title of the presentation is Deer and Pest Proofing your Yard Naturally—Simple Strategies that Work.
The second program is an afternoon with Gabby Hughes from Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve. Titled Nature in Our Backyards, the event on Sunday, October 9, from 2-3, is for families. It will feature hands-on activities, tables and crafts, and if weather permits, will move into the library garden.
The final speaker on Wednesday, October 26, in Room A, is Faith Starr of Green with Faith. Starr is a naturalist with a holistic approach who teaches, consults and is a radio show host. She will discuss things such as organic gardening, edible plants, plants that can be used for healing purposes, and environmental issues. The title of her program is The Yin and Yang of Yardening: Mind Body and Spirit Gardening.
Watch for more information in the September issue of mtl and at www.mtlebanonlibrary.org .
IT’S YOUR LEBO The MyLebo portal on  the municipal website can put you in touch with some municipal services from your keyboard. You can make service requests for sidewalk repair, repairs to municipal property and trimming of street trees.
Other MyLebo services include applying for buil-ding, occupancy and block party permits, downloading forms, and reporting problems such as malfunctioning traffic signals, potholes, damaged curbs and traffic signs, icy or snow-covered roads and storm sewer problems.
Also on MyLebo you can purchase municipal event tickets or Mt. Lebanon apparel, sign up for LeboAlerts, a text and email notification system. And you can pay parking tickets.