University of Pittsburgh
June 21, 1998


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, June 22 -- In what will be the biggest response yet to the City of Pittsburgh's Adopt-A-Block litter control campaign, employees and students at the University of Pittsburgh are spearheading a cooperative effort to clean up Central Oakland.

The first phase begins at 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 24 when a handful of members from Pitt's Staff Association Council (SAC) will meet at the U.S. Post Office on Bouquet Street. From there, equipped with tools and other materials provided by the university's facilities management department, the group will move along Bouquet and onto Dawson Street, sprucing up the neighborhood by picking up litter.

"We're doing this on our own time and will come back at least once a month," said Steve Zupcic, Pitt Volunteer Pool coordinator. "It's our response to the realization that for those who work at Pitt, Oakland is a second home and we have a responsibility to help its residents keep it clean."

As envisioned by outgoing SAC president Brian Hart and project chair Gwen Watkins, this Adopt-A-Block effort will expand significantly, beginning in September, when both Pitt students and Carlow College get involved.

Beginning in the fall term, Pitt students will assume responsibility for keeping clean an area that encompasses Oakland Avenue, Atwood Street, Meyran Avenue and McKee Place, while Carlow volunteers will oversee areas adjacent to both its campus and Magee-Womens Hospital.

According to Zupcic, the streets were chosen to complement the Business Improvement District and because they include neighborhoods often shared by students and residents.

"We not only intend to keep our commitment to the community," said Zupcic, "but we plan to expand it by continuing to invite other organizations and institutions in this area to join us."