Celebrate Black History Month OUTDOORS 

February is here and we’re ready to celebrate Black History Month with a week of outdoor (and virtual) community events. We’ll bike, jog, gardenand Zumba with Black-led organizations in historically significant Black spaces while we learn about Black History in Pittsburgh and the outdoors 

COVID Precautions: Programs will either be fully virtual or will be in-person and require participants to wear masks and socially distanced.  

Jogging through History 

Feb 21, 12:30-2pm |in-person | $5-$8

Jogging through History is an urban jog starting at Bigham House in Chatham Village. The Bigham House is believed to be a stop on the Underground Railroad. All jogger levels are welcome! There will be a fast paced group and a NO DROP group (meaning we’ll go the pace of the slowest runner).  

Want to keep your workout going? End your jog at Zumba in the Park 👇🏿 

Zumba in the park 

Feb 21, 2-3pm |in-person | $3-$5

Zumba in the Park with Kemah is an outdoor, thumping, high energy class meant to get you grooving! Bring a towel, a water bottle, wear your mask. Bring your kids as participants or to play on the nearby playground while you get your workout. It may be chilly, but the movement will warm you right up! 

Indoor Herbal Gardening with Grow Pittsburgh 

Feb 26, 10-11:30am| virtual | $6-$7 covers supplies 

You’ll be set up with 3 pots, 3 types of seeds, 3 labels, and soil.  Then learn from the experts at Grow Pittsburgh who will teach you everything you need to start your own indoor garden.  

Black History Ride with Major Taylor Pittsburgh 

Feb 27, 11:30am –2pm | in-person | $5-$8

Ride with the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club! Meetup at Everyday Cafe, a black owned establishment in Homewood. Ride approximately 8-10 miles, learning about the Homewood/Larimer areas, its black history, and Major Taylor Cycling.  

Fun Fact: Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor (1878-1932), the name-sake of the club, was the world’s first black sports superstar. He was world cycling champion in 1899, American sprint champion in 1900, and set numerous track cycling records. 

Hiking for City Folks

Feb 27, 1pm –3pm | in-person | $5-$6

It’s hiking, but for city folks. 😉 Learn to “Leave no Trace” and “How to Get Unlost” with Venture Outdoors and Outdoor Afro on a leisurely stroll.

Snow Trek (Winter Urban Hike) in Homewood

Feb 28, 11am –1pm | in-person | $8-$10

Take a hike through Homewood with Grounded Strategies and Venture Outdoors. Grounded will provide the educational background on Homewood’s history and the projects they have underway to enhance it’s natural beauty. Venture Outdoors will provide HOT COCOA and walking sticks.

While we enjoy celebrating Black History Month in February, we believe it’s important to acknowledge and learn more about Black History all year long. Get outdoors with us this week, but please continue to follow your Black-led outdoor organizations and clubs, and come back for more Black-centered outdoor activities with Venture Outdoors. 

Outdoor Inclusion Coalition

Venture Outdoors is teaming up with other local nonprofits and outdoor organizations in the Pittsburgh area to address diversity, equity, and inclusion with a specific emphasis on racial equity outdoors. Learn more and see how your organization could join here.  

Hike the Rocks & Waterfalls of PA 

Geology isn’t just about rocks. It’s also about how rocks change over time. Geology tells us an intricate story about the history of our earth and its landscape. We look to rocks today to see various climates throughout history, plate tectonics, and the history of life itself. 

The varied geology of Pennsylvania has plenty to explore. From a hike through Erie Bluffs State Park to Fall Run Park in Shaler to Buttermilk Falls in Beaver County we’ll explore it all with geologist Fred Zelt and Earth Science Excursions, LLC.

On all trips, we’ll require masks and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

KICK OFF: Western PA Geology Virtual Class

Wed, Feb 17, 6:30 – 7:30pm | VIRTUAL

Learn the basics of geology in a 1 hour virtual class about rocks! Dive into Pennsylvania Geology and Physiographic Provinces, paleoclimates, and get ready for the the upcoming excursion. Also learn what the heck these words even mean.

Rocks & Waterfalls: Fall Run Park

Sat, Feb 20, 12 – 2pm | HIKE

REGISTRATION FULL

Learn to identify shale, sandstone, limestone and coal. See fossils of animals that lived 300 million years ago. If there is snow, we will see a winter wonderland!

This waterfall, the first in our series, demonstrates the three key ingredients of a good waterfall: a capping rock layer that is resistant to erosion, softer rock layers underneath, and a change in the watershed that caused a “knickpoint.”

Rocks & Waterfalls: Buttermilk Falls

Sat, Mar 6, 12 – 1pm | HIKE

Registration Full

Buttermilk Falls is a gem, one of the most beautiful small but tall waterfalls in southwestern Pennsylvania. Unlike most waterfalls, here it can be possible to see and hear the waterfall from behind.

A short walk from the parking area to the waterfall passes multiple levels of a long-abandoned quarry of the Homewood Sandstone. Learn the history of the Beaver Valley and the region through these geologic observations.

Rocks & Waterfalls: Ohiopyle

Sat, Mar 13, 10am – 4pm | HIKE

FEW SPOTS REMAINING

With waterfalls and the deepest gorge in Pennsylvania, Ohiopyle State Park provides opportunities to observe a variety of habitats together with three-dimensional exposures of the rock layer most responsible for shaping Laurel Highlands landscapes. These can be observed on an excursion to the most scenic natural features of the Park.

Rocks & Waterfalls: Erie Bluffs

Sat, Mar 27, 11am – 3pm | HIKE

FEW SPOTS REMAINING

With hiking trails on public land including access to the lake shore, Erie Bluffs State Park is an excellent venue for gaining first-hand experience with geology and nature. Explore the bluffs, have lunch on the beach, and make an optional stop at a Local Maple Farm on the way home.

Meet Fred Zelt

Geologist
Cyclist

Volunteer
Bethel Park Native
Certified League Cycling Instructor
Your volunteer leader for Rocks & Waterfalls Series with Venture Outdoors 

Fred Rocks 😉  

Phots are courtesy Fred Zelt – Earth Science Excursions, LLC