Allegheny Mountains Lot

Program Area: Ambassador Project, ReClaim

Topic: Stormwater, Vacant Land

Year: 2015, Current

Neighborhood: Brighton Heights, Northside

Parent Project:

News/Press Coverage

North Siders reclaiming vacant lots with designs for community

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | April 27,2015


Matthew Yurkovich loves the great outdoors. He also loves his Northside neighborhood of Brighton Heights. As a way to bring the great outdoors to his community and connect his Pittsburgh neighbors to the greater ecosystem, he came up with the idea of the Allegheny Mountains Lot – a micro woodland and wildflower meadow full of native plants – for a vacant lot near his home.

The nondescript vacant lot sits on a busy intersection in Brighton Heights. Matthew’s design takes this unimpressive space and transforms it into a garden with a purpose. The cobblestone-lined trail will invite passersby to walk through the site and view the beautiful plants and native birds and insects that call these plants home. Matthew plans to harvest the seeds from the plants on site and share them with his neighbors in order to encourage their own gardening and beautification of the neighborhoods.  In additional a “take a book, leave a book” Little Free Library will sit on the site for everyone in the community to use.

Community means being able to count on your neighbor and having a shared interests in where you live. When people realize they can help others by caring for where they live, it makes everything better.

— Matthew Yurkovich, ReClaim Northside Ambassador

3811 California Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Matt Matthew Allegheny Mountains Lot
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Matt Matthew Allegheny Mountains Lot
Matt Matthew Allegheny Mountains Lot
Matt Matthew Allegheny Mountains Lot
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Before work began on the lot, it was simply an empty space that was easy to overlook.

Soil was placed on the site so beautiful native plants could replace the grass.

In addition to enjoying the beauty of the site when it's finished, passersby will also be able to pick flower seeds for their own garden, or pick a book from the Little Free Library.

Matthew places a stone with Ed, a volunteer from the Brighton Heights Garden and Greenspace Committee.

Volunteers placed reclaimed stones on the pathway.

The pathway, when completed, will provide a way for visitors to interact with the site.

The finished product! What a fantastic change!

Final touches to the