Photo by Justin Criado
The Brighton Heights Citizen Federation in partnership with the Student Conservation Association cleaned-up and planted new flowers in the garden on the corner of Termon and California Avenues in Brighton Heights.
By Justin Criado
Brighton Heights is receiving a facelift thanks to the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in partnership with the Bright Heights Citizens Federation (BHCF).
The gardens at the California and Termon Avenues corridor as well as the greenspace along Brighton Heights Boulevard have been the areas of focus for a group of nine area Pittsburgh Public Schools students participating in the SCA program.
“The Student Conservation Association gets (students from) Pittsburgh Public Schools to help with these beautification projects, but it also helps them get ready for life after high school. There’s job readiness,” SCA project co-leader Katherine Yoho, of Brightwood, said.
The program began at the end of June and will continue into August, when the students return to school. Numerous new flowers were planted in addition to new rock walkways and a rock garden, which is against the building of State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl’s office.
“(The students) take a lot of ownership in the projects when they’re complete,” SCA program coordinator Rick Southers said. “Once they get in to it they’re really in to it.”
BHCF volunteers also said the community has taken notice, even if it’s simply beeping their horn as they drive by, but there’s always work to be done on the community’s 10 gardens.
This is my front yard extended,” BHCF volunteer Ed Gergerich said of his home on the opposite corner. “I can look out my bedroom window and see the flowers.
“…We can always use more volunteers. Anybody that can spend an hour or two or three can come over and pull some weeds.”
Al Deurbrouck took a break from working on the large North American Rock Garden Society Allegheny Chapter rock garden in front of the National Aviary to check out the progress on Brighton Heights’ newest one.
“The biggest thing about the rock garden is it’s a 12-month a year garden and that’s really cool,” Deurbrouck said. “It’s a type of gardening that you use a lot of sandy soil and that sort of thing. It’s kind of freelance.”
Deurbrouck has been working on rock gardens for over 40 years, and a group of society members maintains the Allegheny Center space on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month.