Volunteers help Jubilee Garden grow
In its second year, the Community Jubilee Garden in Clairton remains a point of interest both within and outside of the community.
Located near the intersection of Miller and St. Clair avenues in the heart of the city, the garden has a regular core of about 16 volunteers who tend individual and shared lots within the property.
This week, a group of volunteers from a Greenville, N.C., church group visited the garden to pull weeds and participate in other maintenance.
Members of the Life Teen program from St. Peter Catholic Church make annual trips to the Pittsburgh region to volunteer at soup kitchens, homeless shelters and various other charitable causes.
Hosted by St. Paul of the Cross Monastery on the South Side, the group had 121 volunteers this year. Five of them came to the Clairton garden.
“I think you can bring a community together around a garden,” said Stephanie Cervi, 18, one of the volunteers from the Greenville group. In her fifth summer of volunteering, Cervi said she's worked in other community-style gardens but Clairton's was the first in such an urbanized setting.
Allegheny Grows — which has provided support in the form of materials, land preparation assistance and instruction for the Clairton garden and others in the region — and its partner organization Grow Pittsburgh, is focused on teaching and promoting urban gardening.
Jessica McNally of Allegheny Grows said she's seen improvements at the Clairton garden.
“We did a lot better at growing everything this year,” McNally said.
She attributed the greater productivity to a number of things. Gardeners have easier access to water because of a line that was installed in the middle of last year's growing season. McNally said participants are more knowledgeable about gardening this year, too.
Gardening instruction is a component of the Allegheny Grows program. Communities must demonstrate a high level of need and show support for community gardening in order to qualify for the county program. Once selected, they receive two years of gardening support through education, materials and equipment and assistance with obtaining land for gardening.
The goal is for communities to continue sustainable gardens after the program period ends.
Clairton Councilman Rich Ford, who has been a big promoter of the community garden through the city's Unity Group, said he believes the Clairton garden will remain viable in future years.
“We've got a couple of really dedicated people,” he said.
He thinks more people will come to the community garden if they know it is there and open to the public, and he hopes to get more young people involved.
A number of improvements are yet to be made to the lot. There are plans to connect rain barrels to a toolshed constructed on the property last year. An embankment facing St. Clair Avenue is scheduled to have perennial flowers planted on it to prevent erosion and make it more attractive.
In addition to vegetables, garden visitors may notice bushes and trees that bear figs, currants, pears and hazelnuts. A section of ever-bearing strawberry plants is popular with children who visit the garden.
For more information about the Clairton garden, call 412-215-6830.
To learn more about community gardens in general, visit the Grow Pittsburgh website at www.growpittsburgh.org.
Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wintry weather in forecast for Mon-Yough area
- Race for Pennsylvania’s 39th Legislative District one to watch
- Allegheny County council committee recommends drill lease at airport
- Steel Valley school director says teachers lack volunteer spirit
- Twin Rivers COG takes another step toward finalizing merger with Steel Valley
- McKeesport basketball tournament to assist homeless veterans
- Gergely up against GOP’s Peoples in Pennsylvania House’s 35th District
- Port Authority plans to replace deteriorated McKeesport hub
- Elizabeth police step up traffic enforcement, crack down on speeders
- Campbell foundation funds computer upgrades
- Clairton school board delays decision on bus contract renewal