Dwayne Cooper Garden of Hope
Program Area: ReClaim
Topic: Community Engagement, Community Gardens, Education, Vacant Land, Workforce Development, Youth
Year: 2010, 2011
Neighborhood: Hill District
GTECH transforms vacant or blighted properties into viable community economic development opportunities by reclaiming sites and employing green redevelopment strategies to revive and recover the land.
The Dwayne Cooper Garden of Hope is an urban farm, community vegetable garden and sunflower garden in the Hill District community. The site is a platform for education and training programs, farmer’s market space, and community events. The location of this site is the former Francis Court public housing community (intersection of Bedford Avenue & Francis Street) owned by the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh.
For GTECH, this project combined our vacant land expertise and commitment to workforce development. In 2010, the Garden employed 2 adults and 5 youth and engaged dozens of community members hosting two community events in the early summer and late fall. During the 2011 growing season, over 300 pounds of fresh produce that was donated to local community. In 2011, the size of the farm increased and incorporated a more formal workforce development program.
Project Goals & Activities
- Reclaim a sizable footprint of vacant lot for a productive use
- Yield a significant amount of fresh vegetables for community consumption and distribution
- Serve as an educational and training platform
- Create a local farmer’s market and market space
- Provide a greenspace to encourage intergenerational activity, community gathering and events, and develop a unique collaborative model for producing urban food.
Impacts & Outcomes
This community garden and urban farm was great demonstration of the how to utilize larger tracts of vacant land throughout the city.