In the News

Local teen tries out the Citizen Scientist program!

July 31, 2019

Jane Grabowski is entering her senior year at Carlynton High School soon and decided to spend a little time this summer giving back before her hectic schedule kicks in. She recently became a Citizen Scientist for the Allegheny County Parks Foundation and helped count fireflies – also known as lightening bugs -  in South Park.

But it wasn’t without some trepidation.

“I’m always a little apprehensive about bugs. They kind of creep me out. But it wasn’t uncomfortable at all to hear about the fireflies. It turned out to be a lot more fun and interesting than I thought,” the 17-year-old Crafton girl said.

Grabowski is thinking about studying biology or environmental sciences when she enters college next year. So when her mom saw a Facebook promotion for a new ACPF program to monitor pollinators, she thought Jane would be interested. She was and she brought her friend, Ruth Ross, who was visiting from Ohio.

“It was a great opportunity to do something more than study about the environment in books,” Jane said. She welcomed the chance to get out in the open air.

It’s important to monitor the pollinator count because ACPF has taken significant steps to improve the ecology of South Park by planting trees and a meadow, measures to attract fireflies, butterflies and bees. The plantings were suggested by an ecological study ACPF and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy conducted, which is available HERE.

The public is welcome and encouraged to participate in the Citizen Scientist program. It’s free and you can learn about your parks and contribute to their ecology at the same time. Instructors from Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania offer a lively presentation about the featured pollinator and then the group sets out and counts them in a designated area. These are taking place in South Park and Boyce Park through September.

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Jane Grabowski, left, and Ruth Ross

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