Grow Pittsburgh celebrated 10 years of their Community Garden Program with Garden Get Down on August 29 at Grist House Craft Brewery in Millvale. Since 2010, they’ve supported 100 gardens, engaged over 2,000 individuals, and grown over 300,000 pounds of food.
During the event, tours were given of the Gardens of Millvale, one of the first Community Garden projects facilitated by Grow Pittsburgh,
“I think a big reason I’m [at this event] is because Grow Pittsburgh has done so many amazing projects all over the city and the fact that Millvale is one of their first is a big deal,” said Maya Guerin.
Guerin, a professional landscape gardener and environmental art educator, moved to Millvale three years ago. Over time she became heavily involved working in the community gardens and they have proved to be an incredible resource for her connection to the community.
That view was echoed by Katie Grauer who moved to Pittsburgh about the same time Guerin moved to Millvale. Grauer and her husband started their Pittsburgh journey in the southern region, but recently bought a house in Point Breeze.
“We took awhile to figure out where we could have a garden and where to dump compost,” Grauer said. “We connected with a [Grow Pittsburgh] gardener [in our area] and started volunteering with our local garden.”
Grauer said since that time they have been supporters of the organization; her husband now works for Grow Pittsburgh and both “love the culture” permeated by the org.
It’s a model recognized by Sustainable Pittsburgh, a nonprofit making moves in municipalities to address underserved communities and Program Manager Jim Price came out to support the Garden Get Down because he believes “urban agriculture is a great way to increase a community’s sustainability.”
“It provides local food access, lowers your carbon footprint, and engages community members,” Price said.
Price has been working with the Triboro Ecodistrict before it was defined as such, and said Etna, Millvale, and Sharpsburg “exemplify what is means to rebound from tough situations.” From flooding and population loss, the boroughs have moved forward and redefined sustainable neighborhood engagement.
“We hope that our collaboration with the ecodistrict process can help leverage it and make this a region wide effort to improve our area and become a model for community development,” Price said.
To learn more about community gardens in the Triboro Ecodistrict, stop by the following locations for a visit: The Gardens of Millvale, 12 Butler St, Millvale, PA 15209; The Garden of Etna, 9 Short Alley, Etna, PA 15223; Sharpsburg Community Garden, 1212 Main St, Sharpsburg, PA 15215″