Establish a system of community gardens throughout the neighborhood that provide social benefits and increase food access. These could be established on public or institutional land or in open spaces created by new development. Partner with community groups and non-profit to startup new community gardens.

  • Oakland is currently a food desert with limited opportunities for easy access to groceries, especially fresh produce.
  • Community gardens are an important way to both provide health food to residents but also to establish stronger community ties and foster relationships between neighbors.
  • There are already a number of community gardens established throughout Oakland but there needs to be increased visibility, expanded access, additional space dedicated to community gardens, and improved coordination between the different garden space.
  • Consider container and rooftop gardens, hydroponic/aquaponic systems, etc. as spaces for community gardens.
  • Work with University of Pittsburgh to relocate the Plant2Plate garden to providing garden plots where students can learn gardening techniques, build teamwork, spend time outdoors, and develop a sense of stewardship for the neighborhood.
  • Identify priority locations and piece of land that can be utilized to create a network of community gardens and set clear expectations for the community around permanent gardens vs temporary such as on future development sites.
  • Leverage existing program such as the CMU gardens, Pitt’s Plant to Plate and Carlow food Pantry, connect them and scale them up.
  • Develop tools and information centers for residents and community organizations that wish to start a community garden.
  • Establish point of contact or organization helping to manage each community garden to ensure that all gardens are continuing to be maintained and best serving the needs of Oakland residents
  • Ensure that all community gardens have the tools and supplies needed to be successful and sustainable.

When to start: 3-5 years

Duration: 1 year to establish, ongoing

Estimated costs: $ (out of $$$$)

Project lead(s): OPDC, Phipps, institutions

Project partner(s): Student governments, neighborhood associations, DPW

Potential funding source(s): Grow Pittsburgh, Allegheny Land Trust, grants

Examples, illustrations, data