ReClaim Northside

Program Area: ReClaim

Topic: Community Engagement, Education, Vacant Land

Year: 2013

Neighborhood: California Kirkbride, Central Northside, Manchester, Marshall-Shadeland, Observatory Hill, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Troy Hill

“There was a lot of us hanging out on the street, on Shadeland Avenue, and there weren’t always positive things going on. I feel like I want to give back to that street. I realized that I can make a change.”

Corey Carrington
ReClaim Northside Ambassador


The Ambassador Model is unique and an innovative approach to community development. The model enlists representatives from individual communities to walk through the vacant land process and then enables them to implement projects on vacant lots within their own community. By empowering and educating these representatives, we are able to support sustainable and impactful projects in some of the most distressed neighborhoods in the Pittsburgh region.

Ambassadors from 8 different Northside neighborhoods were selected to participate in a 10 month long initiative where they attended education sessions covering site access procedure, evaluation and design, policy issues, volunteer management and more.  These individuals are then able to put their knowledge into action by implementing a greening project of their choosing.  Representatives are coming from Troy Hill, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, California Kirkbride, Central Northside, Observatory Hill, Marshal Shadeland, and  Manchester.  Projects include community gardens, parklets, a chess park, gateway gardens and more.


ReClaim Northside Banner

The Ambassadors at graduation

Corey looking over his design.

Crystal and a design volunteer discussing her plans for a small community garden

Methods Used

Ambassador Model





ReClaim Northside: A lesson in vacant lot renewal
PopCity Media 4|24|2013

Related Projects

ReClaim South

Current Status

The Ambassadors have successfully completed the course load by October 2013. Through the fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014 their designs and projects will be built in 8 different Northside communities.



  • The Buhl Foundation