PITTSBURGH — When a public housing complex came down nearly a decade ago in St. Clair, neighbors started envisioning a new future for the community.
Now, the final seeds are being planted to make that vision a reality.
The final portions of the St. Clair Village housing complex were shuttered and torn down in 2010. Since then, 107 acres of land on the hilltop have sat relatively quiet, but thanks to a community vision and a lot of time and money from Pittsburgh organizations, that's all changing.
"I think people wanted to see something that would directly benefit the community," said Sarah Baxendell, the director of Hilltop Urban Farm. "They wanted to envision for themselves what their neighborhood could become."
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The Hilltop Urban Farm is the future of part of that space. It sits on 23 acres of land and leaders say it will be the largest urban farm in the United States.
"Once everyone's growing in all the places, we'll be able to quadruple all the food that is grown in the city of Pittsburgh on one site," Baxendell said.
This spring, the youth farm will open. Students from Pittsburgh Arlington, right across the street from the farm, will be able to walk over and grow their own produce.
Farmers can apply now to start cultivating their own crops on the land for profit. It's a community change that holds a special significance to Baxendell.
"My grandfather is actually from the neighborhood, so to be able to do something like this five houses from grandpa's house is a pretty special thing that only Pittsburgh can offer," she said.
This will be a multi-million dollar effort led almost entirely by Pittsburgh organizations. To apply for the farmer incubation program, click here.
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