More Than 100 City Vacant Lots Adopted

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Photo: Allegheny Mountain Lot, Brighton Heights. Credit: Department of City Planning

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 9, 2018) The City of Pittsburgh’s “Adopt-A-Lot” program has reached a milestone, with more than 100 lots adopted since the program was launched in late 2015.

The Adopt-A-Lot program, developed as part of Department of City Planning’s Vacant Lot Toolkit, was created in a collaborative process to allow residents a streamlined approach to accessing city-owned vacant lots for food, flower, or rain gardens. In an effort to productively use vacant city-owned lots, the program has three goals: foster neighborhood interaction, re-imagine the potential of vacant lots, and encourage environmental awareness.

In the first two years, 40 community projects have transformed a total of 114 vacant lots.

“The program is constantly evolving to adapt to what residents want,” noted Shelly Danko+Day, Open Space Specialist and Urban Agricultural and Food Policy Adviser at DCP, adding that there are hoop houses being installed on one project to extend the growing season, while another, initiated by a refugee community group, has adopted 35,000 square feet for a food and market stand garden, while others include neighborhood compositing projects.

A key goal of the program was to create more long-term access of city-owned lots for farming projects. Currently there are 23 projects in Adopt-A-Lot 3-year leases after completing their first successful year of stewardship. The success has prompted the URA to create a parallel program called “Farm-A-Lot” which will allow commercial farming projects on a subset of its property portfolio.

With better weather returning, residents and community groups interested in adopting city-owned vacant property should complete an intake form online at http://pittsburghpa.gov/adopt-a-lot/intake-form.html

You can find the Vacant Lot Toolkit here http://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/redtail/images/1760_VLTK_FINAL_10-28-15.pdf

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