This summer, a garden at the corner of Manhattan and Adams streets in Manchester will look greener thanks to the Manchester Beautification Committee and a grant from the Sprout Fund.
The neighborhood garden, started a few years ago by the committee with some help from Wal-Mart, covers nine city lots but has yet to reach its full potential, said committee member Michelle Jones.
“We’ve been slowly adding to it,” Jones said, but because the space is large the group had some trouble maintaining it.
Recently, the group learned about native plants, and realized that planting grasses and flowers used to Pittsburgh’s climate would save them a lot of trouble, since the plants would require much less work and watering.
Jones said a few of the committee members attended a workshop on native plants, and decided to apply for a $5,000 grant focusing on the use of native plants through the Sprout Fund’s Spring Program.
The Manchester Beautification Committee was one of 20 organizations that received a grant.
Based on the growing season, Jones said the garden should be finished by June. It will feature more grasses than flowers, along with brick walkways and benches.
Unlike many community gardens, Jones said this one will not have a fence, and kids will be able to ride their bikes on the paths and play there.
“We’re looking at [the garden] to be something you use,” Jones said.
The committee also plans to use the garden as a teaching opportunity and has already begun to involve local schools, Boy Scout Troops and other community organizations in the development and maintenance of the garden.
Because Manchester is a developing community, the committee is making the garden flexible. By using brick paths instead of concrete, the garden will be flexible and the paths can be easily taken up or moved in case one or more of the lots is needed for a housing development or other project.
Plus, Jones said, flexible brick walkways are better for the environment than permanent concrete ones.
The Spring Program supports local biodiversity initiatives and is supported by The Pittsburgh Foundation.