Borland Green

Program Area: ReClaim

Topic: Biofuel, Community Engagement, Vacant Land, Youth

Year: 2011

Neighborhood: East Liberty

News/Press Coverage

Borland Green Ecovillage: a grand co-housing plan in East Liberty Pittsburgh Post Gazette | August 15, 2011

Seven brown-brick rowhouses on Black Street behind Peabody High School had been in the process of falling apart when East Liberty Development Inc. bought them out of foreclosure last year. Since then, the agency has assembled eight more residences on the blocks within Borland, Black and Beatty streets as part… [read more].

GTECH’s first community-based project has transformed into a model for community gathering space.  Located in East Liberty at the intersection of Black Street and Beatty Street, the project started on the site of old row homes that were demolished. After removing tons of rubble, tilling the soil, adding compost, planting both canola and sunflowers and installing fence, the site was ready for a more intense project.

In 2011, with community input from nearby East Liberty residents and from the Borland Cooperative, the site transformed into a permaculture garden and community space through the collaboration of Borland Co-Housers, East Liberty Development, Inc., Pashtek Associates, Pittsburgh Permaculture and SEEDS. This space is now completely managed by local residents. GTECH is excited to see how it continues to flourish in the future. This project is a wonderful example of how temporary strategies can activate further community involvement in improving the condition of vacant land.

Borland Garden Final Plan
Peabody Harvest 5
Before - Beatty
Gtech locations 083
Gtech locations 215
Gtech locations 085

The Garden - 2012 (Photo courtesy of Damel Dang)

Site Design by Pashek and Associates - 2011

Creaing planting beds - 2011

Defining pathways - 2011

Sunflower harvest - 2009

Sheet mulching - 2011

The site before activation - 2008

The site - 2009

The site - 2013

Fence construction - 2009

Permaculture garden under construction - 2011

Canola in bloom - 2008

The Garden - 2012 (Photo courtesy of Damel Dang)

The Garden - 2012 (Photo courtesy of Damel Dang)

Support Funding

This project was made possible by The Sprout Fund, Heinz Endowments, and the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh.

Special Thanks

Thanks to Borland Co-Housers, East Liberty Development, Inc., Pashtek Associates, Pittsburgh Permaculture and SEEDS for working together to create this project.


  • East Liberty Development Inc.

  • The Sprout Fund

  • The Student Conservation Association

  • The Heinz Endowments

  • The Design Center of Pittsburgh