The Nine Mile Run Watershed Association recently had a fundraiser and we jumped at the chance to sponsor the 2nd Annual Nine Mile Bike Tour & Block Party. Over 100 cyclists rode through the East End, touring the sites where the NMRWA has done work to aid in cleaning and maintaining the watershed. At each stop, a volunteer spoke to the group about the impact NMRWA has had in that location.
We wanted to get involved with the NMRWA event because one of the greatest assets of where live (and work in our home office) is the proximity to Frick Park. Most, if not all, of Frick Park is within the Nine Mile Run Watershed boundaries. Their work to clean up and preserve this space in Pittsburgh is part of what keeps Frick Park clean and safe for us to enjoy with our pups. As you know, everything we do, we do for Porter and Jeannie!
The weather was just perfect for this event, which can always be a challenge in Pittsburgh. It made the bike ride even better. While we toured through the East End, we had to be ahead of the bikers to get shots of the group approaching. It was a fun challenge to navigate through the regular traffic to reach the cyclists’ stopping spots.
Nate was really impressed by the sense of community on the day of the event. As he observed, there were no road barricades, so the road management was done entirely by a team of bike marshals. You’d expect to find a lot of fussy car drivers having to deal with a crowd of over 100 bikers, and while there was some of that, there was also waving and cheering. For Sam driving the car, that was a huge relief.
The sense of community was even apparent in the smallest cyclists. There were young kids participating in the bike tour and every time we saw the group come around a corner, they were all smiling and having a great time.
Part of why we provide event photography is to support the organization and help them tell the story of their event through our photography. Having us take professional shots frees up a staff member or volunteer, allowing their time and energy to be spent making the event as good as it can be. Then, they have these shots to use on their website, social media, and other promotional material.
This was the exact case for NMRWA. They had a staff member running all around last year to capture photos of their first bike ride. The most immediate impact our participation had was taking that responsibility off the shoulders of a staff member. This person was now available to coordinate event details, prep things for the block party portion of the day, make sure the bike marshals understood the flow of cyclists and traffic, and so on.
The photos are something they can use to tell the story of a successful event and to share their community impact. As a non-profit, NMRWA relies on heavily on donations and grants; having great images are a major part of conveying the story of what they do and the effect they have on their mission. We anticipate they’ll use the photos in annual reports, other collateral and in promoting the event to potential sponsors next year to secure even more support.
Supporting the 2nd Annual Nine Mile Bike Tour & Block Party was especially important to us because we not only want to support the community, but we also want to support the environment. By tying both of these things together, the NMRWA is doing lasting work to directly benefit our corner of Pittsburgh. We are thrilled to help share their mission and be a source of continued support for NMRWA.