Congratulations to the Harmar Gardeners

Last night, the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group had an awards dinner for achievements across Pittsburgh’s many neighborhoods. The Polish Hill Civic Association was acknowledged for their efforts in organizing a community garden on Harmar St. The PHCA collaborated with members of the community, Student Conservation Association and a property owner to realize the new community garden on Harmar. We are pleased that their efforts have been recognized by the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group.

From the award presentation —

PCRG proudly presents the Community Organizing Award to Polish Hill Civic Association for the Harmar St. Garden in recognition of successfully leveraging neighborhood volunteer capacity in the building of a community garden. Polish Hill Civic Association is truly a “grassroots” community organization, as exemplified in the Harmar Garden project. Working without a budget, they were able to transform the open space between two apartment buildings into a beautiful community garden and neighborhood gathering place.

The PHCA obtained permission from Jon Growall and Blue Dog Homes to install flower beds, vegetable and herb plots, rain barrels, and a composter—all of which were donated. PHCA was able to share resources with another established neighborhood garden , the Wiggins St. garden, to provide rain barrels, tools, and some experienced volunteers. A time lapse video of the lot was produced by Brian Sekecki to record the best sun exposure areas. Brian Seklecki, a community member, and Miriam Parson, from the Student Conservation Association, were the organizers of the project. Through weekly scheduled community garden days, a crew was assembled to get the heavy work done. During last year’s arts festival, children decorated the rain barrels and painted the stepping stones around the perennial herb garden.

Using BLOGSKI and email, as well as word of mouth, PHCA was able to engage the community in the project. The entire project was accomplished with volunteers and donations. The Harmar Garden will continue to be a resource for the Polish Hill neighborhood for years to come. The PHCA and the Polish Hill community have put their efforts into worthwhile project. Many thanks to the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group for their acknowledgment.

5 thoughts on “Congratulations to the Harmar Gardeners

  1. The garden is very impressive. The story of how it came to be is even more impressive.The garden is symbolic of your creativity, initiative, and a strong commitment to community pride and volunteerism.
    Well done and wishing you good fortune in your future gardening adventures.

    Joe McCarthy
    Penn State Extension – Allegheny County

  2. To the residents of Polish Hill.
    I was born on 328 Harmar St. in 1949 and left at age 6 but have vivid memories. Many of my relatives continued to live there. “Herron Hill” declined years after I left, but I am utterly amazed at how you folks have resurrected and nourished my home neighborhood. My sister still lives on Brerton St. and has become an integral part of your community. Having lived in Raleigh, NC for 24 years now, I would seriously consider returning to your wonderful community upon eventual retirement. Your community involvement and spirit is simply wonderful.
    You all have my deepest admiration and respect.
    Adam Adams, M.Ed., LPC
    Forensic Psychotherapist
    PS. When I was but a child, this beautiful and bountiful garden was but a patch of dirt.

  3. Thank you, Mr. Adams, for sharing your memories with us. I will be sure to pass your remarks on to our Harmar Garden and Green Team here on Polish Hill. Please feel free to stop in the PHCA office on Brereton St. the next time you visit! – Staffski

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