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What the muck: Volunteers participate in annual cleanup of Lake Elizabeth on Pittsburgh’s North Side

PITTSBURGH — For about a decade, people having been cleaning the debris out of Lake Elizabeth in Allegheny Commons on the North Side.

“Mucking around as we call it,” said Pittsburgh Park Conservancy Community Engagement Manager Erin Tobin.

The annual cleanup has been named: What The Muck. Last year, volunteers raked out enough muck from the bottom of the lake to fill eight dumpsters.

Employees with the Pipitone Group volunteered to do the cleanup this year to celebrate 30 years on the North Side.

“We’re going to help get this cleaned up so that the ducks can come back, and the people can come back to play,” said Scott Pipitone of the Pipitone Group.

If you drive or walk by, you’ll see them in Allegheny Commons on April 5, April 6 and April 9. The Pittsburgh Park Conservancy says the cleanup is necessary.

“There’s a thousand trees in Allegheny Commons so there’s lots of leaves that are falling,” said Tobin. “There’s also lots of left behinds like geese. Trash. Litter. That just builds up. Falls to the bottom of the lake and just starts to break down. So it’s just really important to clean it out.”

Tobin says it’s really important to clean up Allegheny Commons because it’s the oldest park in the City of Pittsburgh and people come from all over to enjoy it.

“It’s basically an arboretum,” said Tobin. “There’s over 100 different species of trees here. It’s really the heart of the lower part of the North Side.”