Hazelwood Green Space Sustainability Plan

Grounded has touched down in verdant Hazelwood. In partnership with The Hazelwood Initiative we’re exploring means by which to increase the degree of connectivity between green spaces in the neighborhood.

We’ve begun by identifying key community assets, both in terms of the land (important geographical touchpoints like community gardens, playgrounds, parks, and trails) as well as in terms of the human and animal communities in the neighborhood. As we investigate the resources this region has to offer, we pay special attention to the links between them. After all, a playground with no one to play in it soon becomes another weedy, overgrown eyesore.

Through our close work with the chairperson of the Urban Agriculture Committee in Hazelwood, we’re helping to reknit frayed community ties. By shining a light on the example demonstrated by several neighborhood farmers, it is our hope that interest in the green scene will flourish in this community. Eventually, this interest could blossom into a bustling local food scene (local produce already stocks the shelves of the local market “Dylamato’s”).

As Hazelwood grows, perhaps this green space sustainability plan could bear the fruit of a robust local economy. This would create a more resilient neighborhood, better able to cope with stressors such as fluctuating food and fuel prices.

A great deal of the groundwork for this plan has already been laid, in the form of contributions of previous and current residents to the green spaces in their area. A prime example of this preparation is Everybody’s Garden, at the corner of Lytle Street and Elizabeth Street. Previously rife with contamination, this site has undergone radical transformation. Today, this site has deep, fertile soils with nary a trace of the previous pollutants. A smattering of wonderful fruit trees dots the site, with peaches, apples, mulberries, and figs available on site throughout the year.

Many sites such as this exist throughout the neighborhood, and throughout the city. Without a clear succession plan for stewardship however, fantastic community resources such as these can easily be squandered. Reshaping the perception of these areas from weed infested warrens to abundant natural spaces is an important aspect of this work. Thank you to the dedicated residents of Hazelwood for your continued effort in evolving the green space narrative in Pittsburgh.

"The web of life supports us all"

Jim McCueGarden Steward