Growing Community in Turtle Creek and Whitehall
At Grow Pittsburgh, we believe that everyone in our region should have the opportunity to grow and eat local, healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food. Collaborating with neighborhoods to grow food and teach sustainability creates healthy communities. Since 2010, we have worked with communities to start 27 gardens in Allegheny County through our City Growers and Allegheny Grows programs.
The Allegheny Grows program is a partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and supported by Allegheny County Economic Development Community Development Block Grant funds. Since 2010 we have supported the creation of 15 community food gardens in low- to moderate-income areas throughout Allegheny County. The garden program generally lasts for two years, with the goal of garden self-sufficiency by the end of the second growing season. During the course of the program, we provide material, technical, organizational, and educational support. We are now accepting applications for gardens to start in 2018.
In partnership with Turtle Creek Development Corporation and the Turtle Creek Borough, residents built Turtle Creek Home Plate Garden, a thriving community garden at Milewski Memorial Field at Hamilton Park. The name pays homage both to the space’s history of being a ball field and its recent transformation into a growing space. Produce grown at this garden primarily benefits the local food pantry, senior center, and users of the Human Resources Center. This year’s projects include the installation of an irrigation system and compost bin, a workshop series on soil and compost, and solidifying the garden’s decision-making process.
In partnership with the South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM), the Whitehall United Presbyterian Church hosts The Whitehall Peace and Community Garden for the residents of Whitehall Place Apartments. Weekly volunteers alternate harvesting for their families and for the Prospect Park Family Center food pantry. This year, the garden has hosted volunteers from the University of Pittsburgh, grown deer-deterrent crops outside the fence and building a heavy trellis for gourds. They also hope to bring more educational workshops to the garden.