Hilltop residents taking action

By: Sara Innamorato

Hilltop community members know what it takes to reclaim vacant land.

This past month we released a mini documentary that sheds light on the issue of vacancy in the City of Pittsburgh, focusing on the people that are doing something about it in the Hilltop neighborhoods.


“The people that live here are the ones that really know the issues and assets here. They know what the people really want to see in their neighborhoods. That’s what we want – people to have something that they care about.” | Lydia Yoder


“Vacant lots that are undeveloped – that have rubbish and debris – they are a billboard for the community that says “I don’t care, I don’t have the resources to do anything about this” | Greg Jones


“We came here in Pittsburgh as immigrants on August 15, 2012″ | Chitra Gurung


“When I was a child there were fruit trees in practically every yard …and gardens to raid judiciously. Now I noticed now there aren’t so many in the neighborhood. That’s how I got the idea for my garden.” | Gordon Hodnett


“After my project is done, I imagine that this won’t be a bad place to walk through anymore” | Cara Jette


“My perception of community has changed by making friends with people who are in the Hilltop neighborhoods that want to get involved in making their neighborhoods a better place.” | David Totten


“Being part of the ReClaim South program has given me a renewed sense of community” | John Niederberger


“I see the empty spaces, but not as just empty spaces, I see them as opportunities to put something in them.” | Cheryl Ruffin


“So the kid who is out here building a garden because he’s been assigned is less apt to throw the papers on the ground, is less apt to be disrespectful to the efforts.” | Richard Carrington


“I’m proud to be part of my neighborhood now. I’m helping  to be part of the positive change” | Natalie Thomas


” With little things like this it shows that something is happening here and I think people will take an interest and start to care.” |Suzanne Photos


” I just swell us with joy that I was able to do this, not only for myself, but also for my neighborhood.” | Linda Piso


View the full mini documentary below.

video by Covalent


Help us to continue to ReClaim Pittsburgh.


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