Intern Insights: Annie Hanichak

Interns are invaluable to us at Friends of the Riverfront.
Intern Insights recognizes our dedicated interns, the work they do to support our mission, and the lessons they learn along the way.

This week’s Intern Insight comes from Annie Hanichak. Annie spent the summer as a Friends of the Riverfront Stewardship Intern. Annie is a senior Environmental Science major at Pitt. Annie’s internship story is a unique one. Originally, she was an intern with our partner organization, Allegheny Cleanways. However, due to COVID restrictions, she shifted her focus to work more with our Community Initiative Coordinator, Rosie Wise . Annie quickly became a vital member of our team.

Annie is outspoken about her love for nature and she realized that she wanted to do more in the local community. Annie believed that Friends helped her make this difference. She saw firsthand how the Three Rivers Heritage Trail & Water Trail play a large role in bringing the people in the city of Pittsburgh together. Annie noted that the Trail is important because, “it preserves nature for the public to appreciate, even in the middle of a large city. It is a place people can come together and connect with nature and each other.”

As a Stewardship Intern, Annie’s work was vital in ensuring that the Trail was maintained and free of litter. On the numerous trail cleanups Annie participated in during her time with Friends she was always a warrior ready to tackle anything. Along with her immense work ethic Annie also had a keen eye for spotting the most unique litter treasures. Some of her favorite finds included a plastic toy gorilla and an interior decorating display carrying case.

Looking back at her time with Friends Annie is thankful for all that she learned over the course of her internship. Her favorite memory while at Friends is “learning about the plants with Rosie while having lunch under the shade of the trees. We would just talk, and chat and it was a very educational time.”

If Annie’s story resonates with you then Friends of the Riverfront has the opportunities for you.  Friends’ mission, “to build safe, clean, and accessible riverfront trails as part of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail & Water Trail systems, as well as to create and maintain an outstanding experience for trail users while providing economic, environmental, and health benefits to the Pittsburgh region,” can only be achieved with the help of those like Annie.  With the variety of stewardship and volunteer opportunities offered by Friends of the Riverfront, making a difference in your Pittsburgh community is easier than ever! For more information, visit our events page.

 Thank you, Annie, for all of your hard work!

posted 11/11/2020, Ashton Walters

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