Updated: 2/28/15 – Most of the people who had planned to come have cancelled so we will not be having Adult Night Tonight.  Hopefully we be able to get things going better when the weather starts to warm up.


Our monthly adult get-togethers at the Frazier Fieldhouse adjacent to Dan Marino Field on Frazier St.  Any volunteers, donations of food or beverages is encouraged and welcome.

The Kids nights are going to be suspended during this cold weather.

Saturday Feb 28th is the adult get-together from 7pm-10pm.

Some entertainment is possible, but this event is more of an eat, meet and greet, maybe some card games so that neighbors can introduce themselves and discuss topics of interest and ideas for future events like like music, movies, games, etc.

This event is for ages 21 and older.

Due to the size of the building and limited people to run the event, we are limiting the number of adults to 30, so signing up beforehand is recommended.  Please include your name, address and contact number.

Donations of a covered dish, hors d’oeuvres, snacks and beverages are requested and welcome, but not mandatory.

Anyone that would like to share some of their favorite beer or wine for their neighbors to try is also welcome.  To avoid this becoming a “bar” night, we ask that you limit to one or two drinks total per person.

We reserve the right to ask anyone who is disruptive at any event to leave.

Please RSVP via SONG contact page, call or text SONG Phone#, or talk to Janet Sims in person.

Central Page with Research Project Links


UPDATE 2/18/15

The hydroponics workshop will be 3-4pm Sunday 2/22 at Frazier Fieldhouse.

pdf icon Workshop Flyer

Update:  With some work on actual installations now done, and since there probably aren’t many “ideal” windows in South Oakland, the specs and guidelines have changed a bit for site installations.  There will be fluorescent lights on all installations, and the size has been significantly reduced.

For anyone that was interested in hosting a hydroponics installation, but didn’t contact us yet, here’s a few pictures of the 2.5’x6′ system and a CAD sketch of the 22″x32″ system that’s going into two locations so far:

The first two are the same system in progress, planned to have three channels, each with 5 plants in it. The PVC pipes above are for holding lights not shown in pic.


The third picture is a much smaller installation with four U-shaped tiers and a vertical post that will hold two fluorescent tube lights. 
Inline image 3

pdf icon OPDC_Participant_Survey.pdf

Oakland Planning and Development Corporation is collecting information from Oakland residents about their engagement in the neighborhood. The survey is a part of a pilot data project that the Pittsburgh Foundation is funding to test new ways of collecting, accessing and using data for planning, decision-making and evaluative purposes.

Having more responses will help OPDC better identify and meet the needs of residents as well as make the case with funders for continued or increased support of The Oakland 2025 Master Plan implementation.

Follow this link or copy and paste it into your browser to complete the short survey: http://goo.gl/Da9JK8     If you have problems with the link, you can use the attached PDF file to print and fill out and contact OPDC to get the paper version to them.

Please email or call David Zwier at 412-621-7863 ext.14 if you have any questions or concerns.

Central Page with Research Project Links


UPDATE 2/18/15

The hydroponics workshop will be 3-4pm Sunday 2/22 at Frazier Fieldhouse.

pdf icon Workshop Flyer


UPDATE 2/13/15

Check out update to specifications with pictures at new post


UPDATE 2/9/15

We are asking for input on the Hydroponics Workshop date and time.  Please contact SONG through the contact page to request the link to those choices.

Click here for SONG Contact Page


UPDATE 1/18/15

We have received a couple of inquiries about being a host site. Obviously the more the merrier, but also the better to help improve the project, so if you are interested, definitely let us know.

Several changes or clarifications that came from questions so far on the installations and introductory workshop:

  • The installations will assume using fluorescent grow lights since there are very limited windows with enough direct sunlight.
  • The plants grown will be a last minute decision of Bib, Romaine or similar lettuce that does just fine with artificial light.
  • The design can be somewhat smaller area than originally thought, and some customization for each site. If you are interested, let us know and the students can discuss with you in more detail.
  • The workshop “Hydroponics 101” will be delayed till later in January or early February. Please let us know if you or someone you know would be interested in attending.


Hi everyone!

Recently, a group of students at Pitt has been accepted into the Honors College Community-Based Research Fellowship program for the spring semester and the community group they chose to partner with is SONG! The project is focused on implementing hydroponics, or the growing of plants without soil, in our community over the winter. Developing an effective way to cheaply grow food over the winter can begin to empower and assist communities with limited fresh food access.

How does it work?

Plants are started as seedlings in a growth medium within a greenhouse tray for a few days and then transplanted into a PVC piping system for culturing and harvesting. This hydroponic piping system carries a mineral nutrient-rich solution within water to stimulate plant growth. With a few weeks of good water circulation, the plants will be ready for harvesting. The specific plant we’ll be using is bibb lettuce, because it’s been proven as a successful hydroponic plant.

What role does SONG play?

From early February to early April, three SONG community members (see below) will have one of these hydroponic systems installed in their residences. Every week, at a time of the residents’ choosing, one of the students will visit and make sure the equipment is running properly and get feedback about system improvements. If you’d like to get involved, here are a few ways to engage:

  • Introductory Workshop  “Hydroponics 101”:  Tentatively January 20th at 6pm.  The students will be presenting an introductory workshop for the community to learn about hydroponic cultivation and growing their own food!

  • WE NEED VOLUNTEERS:  February through April – Three interested South Oakland residents will be housing a hydroponic system. Participants will get to keep any of the lettuce harvested, gain valuable hydroponics experience and help with the research and development of more affordable, easy-to-use hydroponic systems and food production. The only major requirements are:

    • a 3’ x 6’ floor space near a window (preferably facing south, but not required)

    • room temperatures over 60°F

    • Able to meet one hour weekly so the students can check the system, collect data and feedback.

Let us know if you have any questions.  We would like to hear from those willing to volunteer to host these systems as soon as possible to go over other details of the project and plan for the installations.   If you know any other South Oakland neighbors that might be interested in learning more about hydroponics, or this project, please let them know and have them contact us to get involved.

Check back for any new details.


South Oakland Neighborhood Group

Peggy at SOCD 2013Peggy at SOCD 2013

One of our neighbors, Virginia “Peggy” Johnson passed away Wednesday morning.  She was a regular attendee to SONG meetings and her help and contributions were invaluable to a number of activities and events including South Oakland Community Day.  She will be greatly missed. Please check back for more info as we get it on arrangements.

Click here for Post-Gazette Obituary

The Adult Night that was discussed for this Saturday 11/15 has been cancelled.  We’re hoping to have one Saturday 12/13.  That date was picked to avoid any problems with holiday preparations.  Please let us know if you are interested in participating so we have some idea of what to expect.  If we don’t see you, we hope you all have happy and safe holidays!
This is a reminder that this Saturday, November 1st at 1:00 pm we will be planting fruit trees to create a community orchard in South Oakland. Anyone interested in learning about fruit trees and joining in on the fun should register as a volunteer through this form Tree Pittsburgh created: http://goo.gl/XGJ0iC. Volunteers will meet at 3213 Parkview Avenue.

Inline image 1
Tree Pittsburgh and OPDC are partnering to plant eight fruit trees at Frazier Farms and a vacant lot on Parkview Ave.  Neighbors will have the opportunity to take three free classes to learn about fruit trees and ensure their sustainability.  The first class will focus on fruit tree biology, site selection and species information.
Tuesday 9/23 from 6-7:30pm at Parkview Manor, 3250 Parkview Ave.
For more info:

If you’re interested in a free tree for the sidewalk, please fill out the application and bring it to the next SONG meeting Tuesday March 4, or give or mail it to David Zwier at 235 Atwood Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.  There will be a site inspection for each application, because not all locations are suitable for trees.

You can also volunteer to help plant and maintain the trees.  More info on TreeVitalize Pittsburgh’s website

There is a PDF version you can print and fill out by hand, or the DOC version, you can fill out electronically, print and sign.

pdf icon Tree-Planting-Request-Form_2014.pdf
doc icon Tree-Planting-Request-Form_USE-ME-14_02.doc