Get ready for Spring

CELEBRATE the return of spring with the Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy. At 2 p.m., on Saturday, March 11, come to the Bird Park fire circle to learn about maple sugaring. Find out why the trees make the sap and how people turn it into syrup. Learn how to tap a tree, and taste some maple sap fresh from the source. Registration is required. More info at

Return to Bird Park the following Saturday, March 18, with work gloves, to clear out invasive species from noon to 3. The Conservancy has tools, clippers, saws, loppers, etc., but if you have a favorite at home, bring it. Preregister online.

Close out the month with a couple of presentations on gardening with native plants. Go to Sunnyhill Unitarian Universalist Church at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 29, for an in-person program, or tune in online for the same program at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 30. Find the registration link at


KEEP IT CLEAN As you begin preparing the yard for spring, remember: Don’t take your clippings or other yard waste to any of Mt. Lebanon’s parks. The Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy and the Mt. Lebanon Public Works Department have been waging a war on invasive plants for a few years, and they’re showing some definite progress. We’d hate to see any setbacks.

You do have other options. Beginning in April, you can take your yard waste to the golf course maintenance facility on Pine Avenue, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., on the first Saturday of the month.

Bring leaves and garden residue in recyclable leaf bags; small twigs, shrubs, brush and branches under 3 feet in length. No grass clippings, stones, soil, stumps, limbs longer than 3 feet, or plastic bags.

Mt. Lebanon also has woody waste curbside pickup, also beginning in April, on the second Saturday of the month. Registration is required, and you can register online at, or by calling 412-343-3403, Monday through Thursday the week before collection. Materials collected are limited to shrubs, tree limbs and branches. Remove all dirt and debris from the roots of any shrubs. Place small branches into unbound piles no bigger than 24 inches in diameter and 48 inches wide. Large tree limbs cannot exceed 6 feet in length and 5 inches in diameter. The total amount of material to be collected cannot exceed the amount that would fit into a regular-sized pickup truck, 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet.


PICK IT UP The overwhelming majority of dog owners never forget to take a supply of plastic bags with them when they take their good girls and boys out for a walk. Then there are the 1 percenters who believe they’re enriching the landscape with their donation of free fertilizer. If you know one of those people, remind them that the next time it rains, dog waste left on lawns, trails and sidewalks washes into stormwater drains, carrying any bacteria and parasites directly into streams. Also, decomposing waste demands a high level of dissolved oxygen from the water, taking it away from fish and plant life that depend on it to live. Plus, it’s just gross.