University of Pittsburgh
April 20, 2009

New Schedule Released for Pitt's "Blue, Gold, and Green" Sustainability Festival April 22

Oakland festival features live music, food and art, green vehicle expo, and presentations from local organizations and officials
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The new schedule has been released for the University of Pittsburgh's April 22 "Blue, Gold, and Green" sustainability festival, a showcase of the businesses, artists, and thinkers that help bring green to fruition in Pittsburgh. The festival will be held at the William Pitt Student Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland, and in nearby Schenley Plaza.

The festival features local artists and food vendors, live music, and expositions by companies actively reducing the human footprint. Speakers from Pitt, local organizations, and city government will explore large-scale efforts to shape Pittsburgh's environmental awareness. Students, staff, and faculty members from local universities will create art from trash, exhibit biofueled cars, and build bicycles for underprivileged children, among other activities. A full schedule and event details are available on the festival Web site at

A sustainability expo in the William Pitt Union kicks off the festival at 9 a.m. and continues until 1:30 p.m. In the Assembly Room, local and national companies, from Dormont Appliance Center to Apple Computer, will exhibit steps they've taken to work conservation into their business plans. Departments from Pitt will highlight sustainability projects and initiatives at the University. The Union's ballroom will contain walk-through displays of two offices, a laboratory, and a dorm room outfitted with sustainably designed products. In the Union's Kurtzman Room, Pitt student groups will host a "Sustain-A-Bowl" that features booths constructed from salvaged and/or recyclable materials-with no Styrofoam, duct tape, or harsh paints allowed-as well as an art exhibition constructed of "dumpster diving" treasures. WPTS-FM, Pitt's student radio station, will DJ.

The speaker symposium begins at 9 a.m. with topics ranging from building a park in post-industrial Pittsburgh to home composting. Brief descriptions of selected presentations follow; all sessions are in the Student Union.

At 9 a.m. in the Lower Lounge, Philip Gruszka of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will explain how to create a green space in an urban environment.

At 10 a.m. in Dining Room B, Bike Pittsburgh program manager Louis Fineberg joins Pittsburgh Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator Stephen Patchan to report on projects intended to enhance the city's quality of life by encouraging bike riding and making Pittsburgh bike-friendly.

From 11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in the Lower Lounge, representatives from Pitt and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office will illustrate the University's and the city government's actions to encourage and enable sustainability. Renny Clark, Pitt's vice chancellor for community initiatives and chief of staff to Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, will speak followed by the mayor's deputy chief of staff, Kristen Baginski.

At 1 p.m. in the Lower Lounge, Georgia Petropoulos, executive director of Oakland Business Improvement District, and senior planner Jason Kambitsis of the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, will highlight efforts to move Oakland and other neighborhoods toward sustainability via recycling programs, green building initiatives, community farmers markets, and better land use. In Dining Room B, Lauren Seiple, composting coordinator for the Pennsylvania Resources Council, will offer guidance for harvesting rainwater for on-site use and converting kitchen scraps into organic fertilizer.

At 10:30 a.m., the Union's sidewalk and driveway along Fifth Avenue will become a street fair and food court with such local food vendors as Maggie's Mercantile and Right by Nature. Environmentally friendly vehicles will be parked nearby starting at 9 a.m., including an Allegheny County Port Authority hybrid bus, two vehicles converted by Pitt students to run on waste vegetable oil, a carpooling/vanpooling display from Commute Info, and a selection of hybrid cars from Baierl Automotive.

From noon to 2 p.m. on the Union lawn, student teams from local universities will compete against a Pitt team in a series of challenges to earn bike parts, construct a bike, and race it at the end of the event. With help from Pitt's School of Social Work, each team will donate its bike, a helmet, and a bike lock to underprivileged children who will be in attendance.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Schenley Plaza, the nomadic I Made It! Market will host local crafters and artists displaying natural, organic, fair trade, and repurposed jewelry, clothing, lotions, soaps, and kitchen and household items. Representatives from Pittsburgh Public Works will be on site to explain the city's new recycling program, with an appearance by the recycling division's mascot, Buster the Recycling Raccoon. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is sponsoring free rides on the PNC Carousel from noon to 5 p.m.

Live music begins at noon in the Schenley Plaza Oval with an acoustic set by Pittsburgh folk rocker Bill Deasy, followed by country act, Brotherville, from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. Local funksters No Bad Ju Ju will close out the festival from 2:45 to 4 p.m.

In organizing the event, Pitt abided by the festival's green principles, including printing posters and postcards on recycled paper with soy inks, reusing foam-poster boards from past University events, and decorating the event with Velcro banners that can be "erased" and reused.