WPC and Grow Pittsburgh Announce a Community Gardening Assistance Program

Mon, Aug 1st 2011, 15:52. Filed under News Releases.

Pittsburgh, Pa. – August 1, 2011 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) and Grow Pittsburgh are pleased to announce a new technical assistance opportunity to assist local groups to plant community vegetable gardens. Groups within the City of Pittsburgh interested in constructing a garden in their neighborhood are invited to apply for assistance, over a two-year period, to organize and build a garden project.

Gardens will be constructed this fall and planted in spring of 2012. Assistance includes materials and supplies to construct a garden on a vacant piece of property, support in organizing individuals and volunteers to help with the garden and weekly visits and advice on gardening throughout the growing season by Grow Pittsburgh staff.

“We encourage any groups within the City of Pittsburgh who are interested in establishing a vegetable garden in their neighborhood to read through the application materials and consider applying,” said Judy Wagner, senior director of Community Gardens and Greenspaces at WPC.

The application can be found on Grow Pittsburgh’s website at http://growpittsburgh.org/growpittsburgh/CityGrowers/Main. The application deadline is Friday, August 19. Included in the application are step-by-step instructions that will help in the application process. Some key requirements are:

  • The proposed site for the garden must be within the City of Pittsburgh.
  • The proposed site must be public or nonprofit-owned land.
  • The group applying must be affiliated with a local nonprofit willing to take on insurance and other support for the garden.
  • The group must conduct a lead test on their site to determine its viability as a food production site.
  • Each site must have the ability to install a municipal water supply for use at the garden.

Grow Pittsburgh and WPC will host two information sessions prior to the application deadline. The sessions will be held at a location determined by the group on Thursday, August 4 and Saturday, August 6. These sessions are not required, but provide communities with an opportunity to have questions answered about the application process by staff from Grow Pittsburgh and WPC. To register for an information session email mmanheim@growpittsburgh.org or call 412-362-4769.

“We are so pleased to announce this application process, and to continue to provide assistance to community gardeners across the region,” said Julie Butcher Pezzino, executive director of Grow Pittsburgh.

The City Growers program is generously supported by the Colcom Foundation, H.J. Heinz Company Foundation, the Negley Flinn Charitable Foundation, the PNC Foundation and the PNC Charitable Trusts.


About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved over 230,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 140 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 11,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.

Media contact:
Eric Sloss
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

About Grow Pittsburgh:
Grow Pittsburgh was established in 2005. The organization incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2008 after four successful programs had been established: Braddock Farms, a social enterprise that raises vegetables for local restaurants and provides jobs and locally grown food for Braddock residents; The Edible Schoolyard, an elementary school gardening program that uses the seed to table model to educate children about where their food comes from through physical gardens; The Frick Project, a greenhouse and garden operation that grows plant starts for local garden initiatives as well as produce for The Frick Café and other restaurants; and The Summer Intern program that uses agriculture as a platform for leadership skill development and environmental education. In 2010, the organization launched City Growers with WPC. This initiative is meant to encourage community vegetable gardening by providing technical assistance in the set up of gardens on vacant land in the city.

For more information about Grow Pittsburgh, please contact Julie Pezzino at 412-362-4769 or jpezzino@growpittsburgh.org.


The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code, and 100% of your donation is tax-deductable as allowed by law.