Grounded GSI: Brighton Heights

Community Context

Riverview Manor is a low income senior living community under the National Church Residences umbrella. Located in Brighton Heights, the residence is situated in a primarily residential area and is adjacent to the Pittsburgh Morrow public school. Residents expressed their deep appreciation of their Grounded GSI project, noting that open space upgrades have made the residence “feel more like home.”

Project Overview

Grounded Strategies worked with Riverview Manor residents on a plan to disconnect their outdoor pavilion downspouts and remove the runoff from Pittsburgh’s overburdened combined sewer system. Grounded worked with residents and volunteers to design and construct two large flow-through planters filled with gravel and infiltrating piping to slow down and store rainwater. As water runs off the roof, it is channeled through disconnected downspouts into beds of planted soil. The planters serve the dual benefit of beautifying the picnic area and relieving the pressure of the stormwater management system.

The co-benefits to the Riverview Manor project was the rehabilitation of the senior center’s fenced in garden. Planted green spaces such as these in urban environments serve to balance the amount of hardscape in the city, naturally capturing and infiltrating stormwater. However, when green spaces are not maintained, they can become eyesores and community liabilities. Grounded helped breath new life into the Riverview Manor garden by constructing a walking path to circle a newly planted wildflower meadow. Additionally, Grounded carved out space in the plan for bench seating protected from the sun by newly installed shade sails. Now, residents can relax in their garden while enjoying little league baseball games played in the adjacent middle school field.