Homewood Cemetery decides to displace garden
The barren, snow-covered planters in the Homewood Community Garden will bloom once more.
But after October — when the garden's lease with the Homewood Cemetery runs out — the 100 or so individual garden plots will be gone.
After nearly 40 years, cemetery officials have decided to part ways with the city's oldest and largest community garden to make room for more graves.
“Overall, it's been a great relationship, but the cemetery is moving into that direction as we further develop,” said David Michener, cemetery president.
The 200-acre cemetery, the final resting place for famous Pittsburghers such as industrialists Henry Clay Frick and H.J. Heinz II, is 60- to 70-percent developed but needs to look several years ahead, he said.
The Homewood Community Garden opened about 1977 to the delight of local growers, most of whom didn't have room in their yards for gardens of their own.
“We had two little kids, very little money and we ate what we grew,” said Pat Schuetz, 67, of Regent Square, who had a plot from 1977 to 1985 and 2003 to 2012. “It's a wonderful thing. I'm sorry to hear of this happening, but I'm not astounded.”
Schuetz and other gardeners said the threat of the cemetery taking back its land loomed for years.
“When you paid your fee at the beginning of the season, you'd sign a contract agreeing to maintain your plot and also with the understanding that the cemetery could take the land back in the middle of the season,” Schuetz said.
But inside the garden, growers became friends as they learned how to cultivate the land and warded off everything from tomato blight to hungry deer and rabbits.
“It was wonderful to have that big plot to grow stuff all those years,” said Joni Raboniwitz, 72, of Park Place, who had a plot for more than 30 years.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Beechview man arrested on child pornography charges
- 12-year-old’s donated heart joins families, lets her memory live
- Pittsburgh police officers start wearing video cameras
- Proposal to limit access divides Penn Hills, Homewood neighborhoods
- Former Rollier’s store to become art gallery, cafe
- Foundation donates $350K to revitalize facades in Downtown Pittsburgh
- Allegheny County Council members outspend expense accounts
- Rules hamper Franklin Regional attack victim scholarships
- Pittsburgh photo exhibit shines light on ‘Good’ work
- Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group volunteers cut trail in South Park
- Legal titans prepared to tussle in Ferrante cyanide homicide trial