Millvale Rain Garden

Program Area: ReClaim

Topic: Community Engagement, Education, Stormwater, Youth

Year: 2011, 2012

Neighborhood: Millvale

Stormwater management in Pittsburgh is a complicated and widespread problem.  In building a city, even one as picturesque as Pittsburgh, people have created a lot of hard surfaces: roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. These surfaces do nothing to absorb water when it rains. During a heavy rain event, the accumulated water from these surfaces heads straight to the closest storm drain. If overwhelmed by a heavy rain or storm, our deteriorating storm water system can lead to sewage overflow in the city or into nearby rivers. Installing rain gardens in urban areas is a simple way to successfully reduce the burden on our city infrastructure and also replenish the local ground water supply.

GTECH worked with the community in Millvale to install a rain garden in the PNC Bank parking lot on Butler Street. GTECH oversaw the implementation in 2011 and assisted in additional planting and maintenance in 2012. This project continues to look great and manage storm water runoff from the adjacent parking lot. Youth from Heinz Youth Philanthropy recently helped to plant some additional plants in the garden and the Millvale Borough Department of Public Works is doing a great job maintaining the garden.

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Heinz Youth Philantrophy planting - 2012

The garden was previously two parking spots. - 2010

The rain garden under construction - 2011

Soil prep for planting- 2011

Initial planting with Millvale community members - 2011

The Garden in the Fall - 2012


Benefits of rain gardens taking root across district Pittsburgh Post Gazette | September 16 2013

Janet Folajtar had a water problem to solve when she decided a rain garden in her yard would spare her and her Mt. Lebanon neighbors the ordeal of storm runoff. And Eddie Figas, Millvale’s community and economic development director, saw the opportunity to show very publicly what a rain garden … [read more].

Support Funding

Funding for this project was provided by Heinz Endowments.


  • Millvale Library

  • Borough of Millvale

  • Millvale Borough Development Corporation