Office of Mayor William Peduto
Department of City Planning Presents the Adopt-A-Lot Program
A clear and predicable process to license or lease City-owned land for garden projects

PITTSBURGH, PA (December 8, 2015) The City of Pittsburgh Planning Department is announcing the launch of  the Adopt-A-Lot Program, which allows residents and groups to build temporary garden projects, including edible, flower, and rain gardens on vacant City-owned lots. The program, approved last month by City Council, grants licenses and leases for use of City-owned property as well as the sale of what is grown onsite, through a market-stand lease.      

“Estimates have shown that the city may have nearly 30,000 vacant and blighted lots” said Mayor William Peduto. “This problem is simply too large for the city to tackle on its own.”

City Planning will host an orientation and workshop today, December 8th, from 6-8 pm at the South Side Market House, 1 Bedford Square, South Side. At this workshop City Planning staff will present the Vacant Lot Toolkit (VLTK) - a resource guide for residents that compiles the goals, policies, processes, procedures, and guidelines allowing residents to build temporary edible, flower, and rain gardens through the Adopt-A-Lot Program. The toolkit was created in part through an Advisory Committee consisting of various City departments and authorities as well as non-profit partners, including Grow Pittsburgh, GTECH, Penn State Center, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, Pittsburgh Parks Conversancy, Tree Pittsburgh, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Useful for projects on both public and private land, the toolkit clearly defines the process to access the nearly 7,200 City-owned vacant lots for food, flower, and/or rain gardens.

At this session, representatives from City Planning will discuss vacant lot project topics including design, budgeting, soil testing and insurance, as well as explaining the City's process.

“The primary purpose of the toolkit is to begin to build new and improved pathways to turn blight into opportunity and to streamline the processes by which we partner with non-governmental groups and individual residents to do so,” Mayor Peduto said.

Other city departments and not-for-profit organizations will be on hand to answer questions and discuss how they can help to facilitate these projects. Those interested in adopting a City lot are encouraged to attend this information session and visit pittsburghpa.gov/dcp/adoptalot for more information. 

Contact:  Shelly Danko+Day, Open Space Specialist, Department of City Planning: (412) 255-2200; OSS@pittsburghpa.gov

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