Interview #77: Amy Camp

Meet magnificent Amy Camp.

Amy is working to bring awareness to this region's trails for hiking and biking.

She's organized a slew of events like “Bike to Feed Families," a ride where people haul food on their bikes and deliver it to the the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

She's also the mastermind behind the South Side's famous annual soup tour, an event that draws hundreds of people to the South Side every winter. Super cool, right?

A fun fact about Amy is that she is pursing a coaching career and has a passion for working with college aged young adults and recent college graduates.

Amy is one of those people who is truly present—she's such a great listener. She takes her time when she speaks and is thoughtful. It's so refreshing to chat with her. 

It's fitting that Amy is featured this week, as recently the last segment of the Great Allegheny Passage trail was completed. I think it's so cool that you can ride your bike from Pittsburgh all the way to Washington, D.C. and I admire the many individuals that have tackled this physical feat.

Enjoy Amy's Q&A! And go get yourself on one of our regions fantastic trails. I'd love to hear your favorites in the comments below. I discovered that I really enjoy the trail along the South Side while training for my leg of the Marathon relay, and I know we have so many more great options!

Name:  Amy Camp

Job title: Trail Tourism Consultant / Regional Trails Manager (the latter for PA Environmental Council)

Twitter:  I’ve only ever posted a few times, circa 2008

Blog: A favorite project of mine was doing a year-long blog project with my family in 2011.  We spent the year following the 1933 diary of our aunt.  She was 13-years-old and terminally ill at the time.  She read 91 books in a year!  We learned so much about the everyday life of our ancestors through a little girl’s diary.  It was a special experience to hold that diary and be transported to another time.  

Neighborhood you live in:  Swissvale; and once upon a time, Greenfield

Coffee Shop Drink of Choice:  I don’t drink coffee or tea, so it’s usually some type of kids’ drink

Current Shampoo Preference:  MOP Basil Mint

Why do you choose Pittsburgh as your home?

I can’t imagine being anyplace else!  I love the people, the neighborhoods, and the fact that I can easily get out of the city for hiking and biking adventures.

Who do you spend your time with?

My partner (Kathi Radock), dogs (Quill and Sadie), and friends and family. I’m blessed to have so many amazing people in my life and so close to home.

What are your favorite aspects of your job?

I love helping placemakers to see that trails are economic engines and that there are simple steps that communities can take to leverage the potential of trails and tourism. I get to go to Nova Scotia this summer to speak with trail advocates from across Atlantic Canada about this. It’s so amazing that they want to model what we’re doing here in PA!  In a more basic way, in all of the jobs I’ve held I enjoyed working with people to realize positive change – in each other and in our communities.  

Do you have a soul food?
Homemade pierogies, Kathi’s potato leek soup, and anything grown in our own front yard. Also, Grandma Powell’s chili sauce and Grandma Mooney’s nut horns.

What are some of your recent personal goals?
Increasing attendance and the amount of food raised for the semi-annual Bike to Feed Families bicycling food drive and possibly to attain my professional coaching certification so that I can work with young professionals to realize their goals.  Also, to grow tomatoes from seed (so far, so good!).

What are your favorite Pittsburgh restaurants?
Kaya, D’s (bar side), Square Café, Root 174, Smoke, Piper’s Pub for brunch, Udipi’s, and Edgar’s taco stand in the Strip

Describe your ideal day.

First of all, I’d be in no rush to get started and would have no set schedule. Kathi and I would take the dogs to either Frick or Schenley Park, stop at the farmers’ market or go someplace for lunch, and hit up a library book sale (that one is for Kathi, mostly). I’d also do some reading and fall asleep on the front porch glider (it’s inevitable) and meet friends for a concert in the park. I guess this would be an ideal summer day.

What is the most memorable live show you have seen in Pittsburgh?
It’s difficult to choose between DeVotchKa, Ray LaMontagne, and Amy Correia. All three were amazing, but I’d probably go with DeVotchKa because I went in not knowing any of their music and was totally blown away by them. 

What do you think Pittsburgh will be like in ten years? What do you love most about the city?
I picture a city and a region that continues to add to its bicycling infrastructure – separated bike lanes all over the city, significant progress on the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail, more people bike commuting, and Pittsburgh as a hub for people on long-distance biking trips, not to mention for those of us who just want to bike around for an afternoon. I also think we’ll see more restaurants serving fresh, local foods. Of course, we’re already seeing a lot of that. I really hope we’ll see a reduction in poverty and hunger as well as improved schools. I’d like to see more women and minorities in leadership positions and know that we will! What I love the most about Pittsburgh is that it’s a city for innovators and a place where people can take big risks.