Paddle Without Pollution: Nominated for Canoe & Kayak Magazine’s ‘Paddle With Purpose’ award

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Local non-profit (and I heart PGH favorite!) Paddle Without Pollution is up for an award celebrating the best philanthropic effort involving paddlesports. You can vote for the best “Paddle With Purpose” contender, plus those in other categories, until this Sunday, June 30, by visiting the Canoe & Kayak Magazine awards page.

The group was nominated by their fellow paddlers and peers and winners are honored at the annual ceremony, held this year on August 1 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Paddle Without Pollution gets canoeists, kayakers, and paddle boarders together to clean the rivers, streams, wetlands, and lakes of Pennsylvania. In 2012, they removed 15.3 TONS of litter from waterways during 13 cleanup events.

They also provide a watershed/paddling education program for inner city youth that teaches paddling skills, ecology, and proper nutrition, as well as other pollution prevention and education programs.

View their upcoming cleanup schedule and register to help clean up local watersheds! And don’t worry if you don’t have your own kayak or canoe, a few are available to borrow from their own fleet for those who sign up early enough. You can also donate money to their cause on their website, via PayPal.

Stay up-to-date on upcoming events and see photos from past ones, plus other news and happenings, by liking their Facebook page.

Click here to vote!

Guide to Pittsburgh public pools: hours, cost, locations, rules

Image courtesy of Citiparks.

Image courtesy of Citiparks.

All 18 Pittsburgh city pools are officially open for the summer, until September 2! Check the Citiparks website to make sure your local pool is open for the day.

While none of the locations provide refreshments, guests are welcome to bring their own food and drinks (no alcohol).

Don’t forget to check out the water carnivals, hosted by a different pool every few days in July. Basically an open pool party for the neighborhood, the carnivals feature unique themes, fun games, raffle prizes, and free food and drinks (normal admission prices apply).


Mondays – Fridays, 1:00- 7:45 p.m
Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays, 1:00- 5:45 p.m.

Adult Lap Swim:
For individuals 16 years old and older.

Mondays – Fridays, 5-6 p.m.
Every pool

Mondays – Fridays, Noon – 1 p.m.
Highland, Moore, Schenley and Sue Murray

Saturdays – Sundays, Noon – 1 p.m.
Bloomfield, Highland, Jack Stack, Magee, Moore, Ormsby, Phillips, Ream, Riverview, Schenley, Sue Murray, West Penn and Westwood

Family swim:
Any individual under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult 18 years old or older.

Monday- Friday 5pm-close
Every pool

Payable by cash, check, or money order only.

Year-long pool passes
Year-long (June-June) pool passes can be purchased at outdoor pools (except Ammon) during operating hours, or at the Citiparks Office on the fourth floor of the City-County building (414 Grant Street, Downtown Pittsburgh).

City of Pittsburgh residents (proof required)

  • Family of four: $60; each additional family member: $10
  • Adult (16 years old and older): $30
  • Youth (3-15 years old): $15
  • Kids (2 and under): free

Free pool tags are available for City residents who are disabled veterans, plus families of active duty military and activated reservist/guard members. Proper ID is required.

City of Pittsburgh residents who receive welfare benefits can buy tags at a 50% discount. A case print-out and proof of identity are required to receive the discount.

Non-City of Pittsburgh residents

  • Adult or youth: $45

Daily pool pass

  • Adult (16 years old and older): $4
  • Youth (3-15 years old): $3


View larger map


Ammon (Hill District)
2217 Bedford Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

One of the biggest pools in Pittsburgh, they get a lot of camps during the day but quiet down after about 4pm.
Water carnival: July 23

408 Ella Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Water carnival: July 9

Highland Park -good for families -one of biggest
151 Lake Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

With a kiddie pool and a mushroom spray fountain, plus handicap accesible features, this pool is great for families. It’s also one of the biggest and busiest in Pittsburgh and has sand volleyball courts
Water carnival: July 13

540 N. Lang Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Another pool that gets a good amount of camps during the day but is very quiet in the evenings.
Water carnival: July 2

Magee (Greenfield)
745 Greenfield Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Known for having one of the best swim teams in the program, this pool next to the recreation center gets decent crowds.
Water carnival: July 9

Schenley Park
1 Overlook Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

One of busiest, this pool is favored by the college-aged and young adult crowd, with not a lot of kids swimming here. It is a walk-in pool though, which is great for kids and new/apprehensive swimmers.
Water carnival: July 13

West Penn (Polish Hill)
450 30th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Water carnival: July 20


Jack Stack (Brighton Heights)
600 Brighton Woods Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

This newer walk-in pool (great for kids and different swim levels) also has a smaller kiddie pool.
Water carnival: July 4

Riverview (Perry North)
400 Riverview Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15214

Water carnival: August 6

Sue Murray (North Side)
301 Cedar Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Although it gets busy with camps during the day, this walk-in pool with slides is much more quiet in the evenings. It’s also handicap accessible with a lift chair.
Water carnival: July 6


1461 Crane Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

A great (yet quiet) pool for families, this facility has a kiddie pool and fountain, baseball fields, playgrounds, an attached pavilion available for rent, and a brand new deck hockey rink sponsored by the Penguins.
Water carnival: July 11

McBride (Lincoln Place) – good for families
1785 McBride Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15207

This pool is handicap accessible.
Water carnival: July 23

Moore (Brookline)
1801 Pioneer Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15226

A big, popular walk-in pool, there’s slides onsite and a large shallow area that’s good for kids.
Water carnival: July 16

Ormsby (South Side)
79 S. 22nd Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

This pool gets crowded with a wide variety of people, from teens to families to random passersby, and is right on the busline.
Water carnival: July 27

Phillips (Carrick) -good for families
201 Parkfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15210

This quiet, mostly neighborhood pool has a spray pad for kids not quite ready for the actual pools, making it great for families with young kids. There’s also an attached rec center.
Water carnival: July 6

Ream (Mt. Washington)
321 Merrimac Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Right on the busline, this pool has a lot of programs and a playground.
Water carnival: July 20

1071 Adon Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15204

Water carnival: July 25

100 Guyland Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Water carnival: July 16


The pool promotes a family-friendly environment at all times.

  • Pool tags must be worn at all times.
  • Swim suits are required for the pool and deck area.
  • Patrons must shower before entering the pool.
  • No running, dunking, horseplay or profanity.
  • No diving on the shallow side of safety line.
  • Smoking is prohibited inside the facility, including e-cigarettes.
  • Food and drink are permitted only in designated area.
  • Swimmers under six years of age must be accompanied by an adult 16 years or older.
  • The Head Lifeguard must approve all flotation devices. Inflatable flotation devices are prohibited.
  • Lounge chairs & strollers must be kept at a minimum distance of ten feet from poolside.
  • Patrons with medical conditions should inform the Lifeguards.
  • Citiparks is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged property.
  • Complaints – see the Head Lifeguard for procedures.
  • Lifeguards are responsible for your safety, so please follow the rules.
  • Violations of above rules may result in disciplinary action up to and including loss of pool privileges.

Click the links for more information about the four spray parks the city operates, swim lessons, and other swimming programs.

Got information to add? Dying to know an answer to a question about the pools? Facebook us, send us a tweet, leave a comment below, or email

Frank Lenz: Local Adventurer, Avid Photographer, Big-Wheeled Bike Enthusiast

Last Friday evening, I went searching for Frank Lenz, one of Pittsburgh’s most notable cyclists. To be fair, Lenz went missing almost 120 years ago, in Erzurum, Turkey, so I really didn’t have much hope of finding anything, but I figured I’d give it a shot.

I headed over to the Brew House Art Gallery on the South Side, where David Herlihy, the author of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance, was slated to give a talk about Lenz’s journey by bicycle around the world, his disappearance, and the adventures of William Sachtleben, another cyclist who had ridden around the world, and who was sent to find Lenz. Prior to Herlihy’s talk, I had not heard of Lenz or Sachtleben, but a worldwide cycling tour intrigued me, and plus, who doesn’t liked those old-timey, big-wheeled bikes?

Lenz and his companions, rocking the big-wheelers

Lenz and his companions, rocking the big-wheelers

Lenz was apparently a big fan. Born in Philadelphia, he moved to Pittsburgh and became an accountant by day, and a weekend warrior who captained the Allegheny Cycle Club. He organized and competed in his fair share of big-wheeled bike races, and pioneered the burgeoning field of cycle photography—an impressive feat, considering that cameras were just as cumbersome as bicycles at the time. Lenz developed a way to transport camera equipment on his back while riding, as well as a method of taking pictures of himself on his bicycle, by placing a trigger on the road, which would activate a camera on a leading car when his front tire (the big one) rolled over it.

Lenz used his growing portfolio to convince a magazine called Outing to fund his trip around the world. Outing agreed, on the condition that he give up the big-wheeler for the newer version, called a “safety bicycle,” which is similar to our modern one. Lenz reluctantly agreed, and, in May of 1892, he set off. Beginning at the Smithfield Street Bridge, Lenz rode for Washington, D.C. to pick up a passport, and then to New York City. He then crossed the U.S. in about five months, then sailed to Japan, and braved tough conditions in China and India before heading to Turkey. In May of 1894, almost two years after his departure, Lenz disappeared. Hoping to find him, Outing sent William Sachtleben, who had completed a similar journey, to Turkey. Sachtleben discovered that Lenz had apparently insulted a chief in nearby Kurdistan, who had ordered him murdered and his body buried by a riverbed. After some wrangling, the Turkish government paid Lenz’s mother $7,500 as a reparation for her lost son

Today, Lenz is commemorated with a sign on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, the final leg of the Great Allegheny Passage, which connects Pittsburgh with Cumberland, Maryland, and which mirrors the path that Lenz took on the first leg of his now legendary trip around the world.

This sign can be found on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail

This sign can be found on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail

Father’s Day in Pittsburgh

Father’s Day is a tricky nut to crack. What do you get dear old dad? What do you do with an entire day dedicated to him? There can be an overwhelming pressure when it comes to the special day . Or you can just give him a #1 DAD mug and hope for the best. If you’re looking to be the best son or daughter ever, check out these events happening in Pittsburgh for Father’s Day.

Man Up for Prostate Cancer 5/10k Walk/Run

ManUpLogo1711Spend the day walking (or running) with your dad to raise money for Prostate Cancer research. The Obediah Cole Foundation is hosting its 11th annual 5/10k Walk/Run on Sunday, June 16th. Races start at 8a.m. at Riverfront Park and the course follows the North Shore for a great view of the city and the rivers. Spend the morning getting fit with your dad, and raising money for a good cause. Register here.

Father’s Day Celebration at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

What could be better than spending the day at the zoo with your dad? Spend Father’s Day with your dad at the zoo FOR FREE. Dads get free admission when they bring their child to the zoo on Sunday, June 16th. I’m not sure how they are defining child, and if they’ll let a 22 year-old slide as a kid, but my fingers are crossed. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG aquarium opens at 9:30a.m. on Sunday.

Father’s Day Brunch and Dinner Specials

If you’re anything like my Dad and me, then you like to commemorate notable holidays by eating large meals. Open Table has made your search for the perfect brunch or dinner spot a little easier by compiling a list of holiday specials. Search for reservations times and more on the site.

First pitch, Mets vs Pirates, 7.20.05

First pitch, Mets vs Pirates, 7.20.05 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kids and Dads’ Day at PNC Park

Take your sporty dad to PNC Park Sunday for an afternoon game against the Dodgers. Kids and dads get the special treatment with free baseball caps at the doors. Children are also welcomed to run the bases after the game. Dads–if you behave maybe you can run the bases after the game too.

Plant a Tree for Dad with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Help the environment and get a gift for your dad by planting a tree in Pittsburgh. With a donation, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will plant a tree in the Park of your choice. They’ll also send a card to your dad for proof.

Breakfast and a Movie at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont

Does your dad like breakfast? Old westerns? Both? Enjoy brunch and western classic High Noon at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont Sunday June 16th. Brunch starts at 11a.m., and the movie begins at 11:30a.m.

Make Your Own Audio Card for Father’s Day

Join the Saturday Light Brigade through Father’s Day to make your own unique audio card. From 1-4p.m. daily, the Saturday Light Brigade can help you create a one of a kind card to give to your dad. You can find the Saturday Light Brigade in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in the Northside. You can find more information on the event here.

Gateway Clipper Fleet Celebrates Father’s Day

Spend some time with dad on the water this Sunday with the Gateway Clipper Fleet’s Father’s Day brunch or lunch (or both if your dad is really hungry). The brunch cruise sets sail at 10a.m., and the lunch cruise at 2:30p.m. Bring your life vest and an empty stomach, this buffet is all you can eat.


There’s our round up of a few events happening Sunday. What are your Father’s Day plans this year? Leave us a comment below!

Concerts in Review: Edward Sharpe at the Arts Fest plus Local Natives at Stage AE

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at PGH Arts Fest Friday, June 7

Pittsburgh was treated to some West Coast music flavor the past few days as multiple Los Angeles-based bands made their way through the ‘Burgh. Starting with last Friday night’s 2013 Arts Fest Music featured act Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

The ten-member troupe made their way onto the Dollar Bank Stage at the Point to a roaring crowd. While past Arts Fest shows have been relaxed and inviting for audience members to sit and relax on the lawn, leading up to the Edward Sharpe show the area quickly filled and became a standing-room-only affair.

But that didn’t stop the fun, positive atmosphere as lead singer Alex Ebert belted through the opening song “40 Day Dream.” Before long the whole crowd was clapping and singing along as Ebert and fellow singer Jade Castrinos encouraged everyone to dance and scream (“if they wanted to”) through the stomp-tastic “If You Wanna.” The warm evening and open venue complemented the band’s sound, as every song was clear, audible, and well-performed.

At one point Ebert leapt into the crowd, disappearing in the sea of people while his voice still echoed on stage. The band kept the crowd involved the entire show, even pulling one lucky audience member on stage to sing a song and participate in a stage dive. The set-list seemed spontaneous, as Ebert would ask the crowd for suggestions or look to the rest of the band for next song ideas. The enthusiastic crowd was also treated to a sneak peek at the band’s upcoming third, self-titled album with the song “Better Days,” the video for which was published yesterday. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros closed out the show with the hit single “Home” as well as “Om Nashi Me” in front of light patterns that resembled stars in the night sky. Audience members were given the opportunity to tell their own stories in the interlude of “Home,” as Ebert and Castrino passed their microphones around.

After finishing up, Ebert reluctantly told the crowd that there “will be no coming back out,” due to a time limit (which it seemed they had already exceeded anyways).

“Talk to your City,” Ebert proclaimed, “Pay more taxes!”

No thank you, Mr. Ebert, I’d much rather pay nothing to enjoy a fantastic evening of music.

Full set list:

  1. Jade Castrinos of Edward Sharpe and the Magnet...

    Jade Castrinos of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    40 Day Dream

  2. That’s What’s Up
  3. Man on Fire
  4. Janglin’
  5. Fiya Wata
  6. I Don’t Wanna Pray (with multiple verses added)
  7. Truth
  8. Up From Below
  9. If You Wanna
  10. Jade
  11. Mayla
  12. Better Days (New Song)
  13. Home
  14. Om Nashi Me

Local Natives at Stage AE Monday, June 10 

Stage AE Pittsburgh's North Shore

Stage AE Pittsburgh’s North Shore

Fellow L.A. natives Ex Cops opened for Local Natives, and actually held their own. Like most openers, the band got the crowd into them through the assurance that the main act was coming up after them, asking the crowd if they were excited. The evening started like an awkward middle school dance as the crowd was not entirely sure what to make of this five-piece rock band. But as the evening went on, heads indeed were bobbing while knees jumped up and down to the swinging, catchy grooves of this unique band who did a proper job of priming the crowd without upstaging the main act.

The Local Natives, also from Los Angeles, rocked to an ecstatic crowd at Stage AE on the North Shore. The four-person group is just beginning their Summer/Fall tour and Pittsburgh is just the seventh stop. With the buzz from their sold-out Spring tour (and Coachella performance) for their sophomore album Hummingbird hanging in the air, the Local Natives really delivered to the enthusiastic Stage AE crowd.

The Local Natives have been getting attention since 2010’s Gorilla Manor (ironically at one time they were the opening act for Edward Sharpe), and for good reason. The combination of strong vocals and vocal harmonization as well as diversity in sounds (from slower, passionate songs, to fast-paced stompers) give the Local Natives a really unique sound, one that has been dubbed “a prominent, assured voice of contemporary Los Angeles rock…a transformational arrival” by the Los Angeles Times as well as “indie rock’s next great hope” by Entertainment Weekly.

The group wasted little time between songs, powering through the set list as each song brought even louder cheers from the jumpy, dancing crowd. Stage AE suited the Local Natives well as it was large enough to let out their big sound, but small enough to allow some intimacy with the crowd. The band made things fun, swapping instruments and vocal duties and at times even playing multiple instruments at once. Lead singer Kelcey Ayer (who played keyboards, a drum, and picked up a guitar at times) expressed appreciation for the passionate crowd, admitting the last time they were in Pittsburgh was roughly 5 years ago to a crowd of about twenty or so people at an art gallery. Needless to say they’ve come a long way in a short amount of time and the enthusiastic support from the crowd could have suggested that the band members were “local natives” (ouch, too much?) of the Pittsburgh area.

Local Natives performing at Stage AE in Pittsburgh

Local Natives performing at Stage AE in Pittsburgh

The Local Natives finished up their main set as the cheers of the crowd rang out in harmony with the final guitar strum while the packed audience cried for more. They came out for an encore, appreciative of the strong support.

Tentative set list for Local Natives (it’s one they’ve used recently, but I’m not sure if it exactly matches Monday night’s show-feel free to comment with any corrections).


  1. Black Spot
  2. Breakers
  3. Wide Eyes
  4. You & Me
  5. Ceilings

    Local Natives performing at Stage AE North Shore

    Local Natives performing at Stage AE North Shore

  6. Heavy Feet
  7. World News
  8. Columbia
  9. Warning Sign
  10. Who Knows, Who Cares
  11. Bowery


  1. Three Months
  2. Airplanes
  3. Sun Hands

Local Natives recently performed on Letterman, and guitarist/keyboardist/singer Ryan Hahn just did a full interview with Pittsburgh’s 91.3fm WYEP.

Between Friday night’s Arts Fest-ivities (see what I did there?) and Monday night’s show, it was the largest collection of square-framed glasses, mustaches, rolled pant legs, and tossle hats in June I’d seen in one place (my own Ray-Bans and unkept facial hair included). And to be honest, all jokes aside, it was welcomed– a friendly, positive, fun-loving crowd which can only bring other great acts through Pittsburgh.