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Community Gardens Sustainability Project

Full vg homestead 2014  2
Amnity Community Garden on a work day, Homestead.
Full ballfield farm harvest
Harvest for a member at Ballfield Farm, Pittsburgh.
Full vg mumin 2015  9
Community members at Masjid al-Mu'min Madinah Garden construct and fill raised garden beds with WPC staff, Pittsburgh.
Preview vg homestead 2014  2
Preview ballfield farm harvest
Preview vg mumin 2015  9
Youtube 40073e2a27c3d525feb2942e86c500c768fec0d984a169da9df1f080c1754496

Communities throughout southwest Pennsylvania are using vacant properties and open space to grow food together. They recognize that having fresh produce in their own neighborhood makes for a stronger and healthier community. For many, the opportunity to grow nutritious food in community gardens is an act of resiliency, offsetting some of the barriers often associated with obtaining healthy food, such as living in a food desert, lack of space, or the inability to buy local and organic groceries due to household budgetary constraints.

To that end, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) seeks to ensure that these valuable community vegetable gardens throughout the region are able to remain vibrant and sustain their efforts by providing additional support and opportunities needed to continue to grow food, side by side, sharing knowledge and resources. This includes providing tools, seeds, soil, irrigation systems, sheds, fencing or technical assistance, to name a few. WPC will also add new vegetable gardens in neighborhoods where they do not currently exist to ensure that interested communities have the opportunity to grow local vegetables.

Vegetable garden projects have long been a part of WPC’s greening work. Beginning in the late 1970s, the Conservancy coordinated community initiatives to support neighbors growing food in gardens. These gardens provided an opportunity for residents to supplement their diets with nutritious fruits and vegetables at a time when local food pantries weren’t as prevalent. In addition, using vacant parcels, which have become rather abundant in many neighborhoods, for food production is one way to address blight in a positive, far reaching manner. Since 2010, WPC has worked with Grow Pittsburgh to install vegetable gardens as a means of community greening and empowerment, and environmental improvement. Together, we have provided materials to 60 existing community gardens throughout Allegheny County to help sustain their efforts.

Community gardeners are proving to be great instruments to feed households in need and build a stronger community fabric. WPC, through UpPrize, will ensure this good work will continue to succeed throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.


Submitted

Nov 29 2016

Organization Organization Type

Nonprofit

Challenge

Healthy Food

Product Stage

Concept

Team
  • Gavin Deming
  • Ben Adams
  • Arthur DeMeo
  • Julie Holmes
  • Jonathan Kuhfuss

Contact this team about Funding, Collaboration or other methods of support. Contact Team


3 Comments

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Joy Braunstein

9 months ago

Another fantastic initiative by an amazing organization!
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Robert Tunon

8 months ago

We love the Garden of Etna, thank you for your support.
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Darla Gerlach

8 months ago

Wonderful, collaborative, successful projects for communities in southwestern PA!

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