Applications are now available for this spring’s 2013 Edible Gardens program, an expansion of the mayor’s successful Green Up Pittsburgh program and servePGH initiatives.
The new program will engage community volunteers to improve access to healthy foods in 10 to 15 low-income city neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce. Through the program, volunteers will transform vacant lots into community gardens to grow, maintain and harvest nearly one ton of fresh produce for at least 200 families in its first year.
Targeting “food deserts” within city limits, Edible Gardens will spread the importance of healthy diets to neighbors while educating volunteers about how to produce healthy, locally grown produce.
Residents who live a significant distance from grocery stores or farmers markets are encouraged to apply to grow fruits and vegetables on a nearby city-owned lot in their neighborhood.
Volunteers will work side by side with the Mayor’s Green Up Pittsburgh’s Green Team on vacant properties to create, design and plant produce. Community garden stewards will be responsible for maintenance, weeding, harvesting and distribution throughout the season. Assistance from the Mayor’s Green Team will be available upon request.
Applications are required, and those received by February 22 will be given priority; however, completed applications will be accepted throughout the growing season. Application approval and an orientation will be required prior to planting. The first gardens will be planted in March and April 2013.
A $100,000 Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grant, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, was awarded to the city to support two of the initiatives that are part of Mayor Ravenstahl’s high-impact service plan, servePGH, and $44,000 will be dedicated to the Edible Gardens program. Other Edible Gardens partners include Grow Pittsburgh and The Penn State Center.
Visit pittsburghpa.gov/ediblegardens to apply. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-255-8680.