In 2010, the Gardens of Millvale began much like any other community garden project—with a couple of overgrown, unkempt vacant lots, a group of dedicated volunteers, and the hope of creating a community asset that would bring neighbors together. Today, the Gardens of Millvale is a sophisticated community asset that supports and activates multiple aspects of the community’s EcoDistrct Pivot Plan.
Earlier this year, we awarded $75,000 to the Millvale Borough Development Corporation to acquire a series of parcels that currently house the Gardens of Millvale and protect the community’s only dedicated green space from the threat of sales pressure and future development. Our support also positioned the community to hire a Project Manager and conduct a business and strategic plan to ensure future garden productivity and sustainability.
To date, the Gardens of Millvale has almost completed the process to acquire the parcels, preventing the loss of a key building block for the Millvale community. This acquisition and project supports the work of Millvale partners such as Farm Truck Foods, the forthcoming Food Hub and the award-winning Millvale Ecodistrict Pivot Plan.
With the additional organizational support and the creation of a Permaculture Master Site Plan, the Gardens of Millvale was able to produce over 600 pounds of produce this summer and assess how to further maximize all of the parcels through permaculture design. They will soon be incorporating 30 more raised beds to meet high demand and will be planting perennial fruits and vegetables, partly based on the guidance of an intern-designed Crop Planting Report and Season Extension Plan. This increase in production will positively impact the Gardens ultimate goal of conducting sustainable operations. Additionally, the Gardens of Millvale is hard at work developing its strategic plan and business plan with New Sun Rising and its Garden Education Program (including compost development) for residents and visitors of the borough.
Learn more about the Gardens of Millvale and get involved with the many growing, volunteer, and educational opportunities they offer!