“The lesson I learned is you don’t have to go anywhere to travel,” said Ariam Ford, the keynote speaker for the third annual student sustainability conference at Chatham, Seeds of Change, in front of a picture of her current home in Pittsburgh “It’s daunting, but the best thing you can do is to start at home.” (Photo by Oliver Morrison/PublicSource)

Students across Pittsburgh learn lesson in sustainability: It’s hard to create public spaces for everyone

More than 100 students of all ages, from public, private and charter schools, traveled across the Pittsburgh region to Chatham University’s bucolic Eden Hall campus 20 miles north of the city. They were presenting sustainability projects they had implemented in their schools and communities for the third annual Seeds of Change: Igniting Student Action for Sustainable Community Conference.

Sarah Baxendell, director of the Hilltop Urban Farm, points to the land set aside for (Photo by Teake Zuidema/PublicSource)

What does Pittsburgh’s Hilltop Urban Farm need to do to mitigate a food desert? Access to healthy food may only be a start.

It was raining nonstop, but that didn’t seem to have any effect on Sarah Baxendell’s enthusiasm as she showed visitors the future site of the Hilltop Urban Farm in Pittsburgh’s St. Clair neighborhood.

The 23-acre farm will grow food to sell, but its creators at the Hilltop Alliance are also planning to teach youth about agriculture and create a new generation of urban farmers. The farm will spin off into a stand-alone organization, and its staff hopes to transform what is now a food desert into an area “abundant with access to healthy food,” according to the farm’s website.

Ian Lipsky and John Stephens are working with neighborhood groups near the city's most deadly recent flooding disaster to bring an old stream back to life. They hope that when torrential rain comes, the water will flow into the Allegheny River instead of flooding.

Can reviving a 120-year-old stream stop dangerous flooding on Pittsburgh’s Washington Boulevard?

Neighborhood groups near the city's most deadly recent flooding disaster want to bring the old stream back to life so that when torrential rain comes, the water will instead flow into the Allegheny River. The resurrected stream would stop sewers from backing up and give water from the hills surrounding the road a natural place to go. But it would be the biggest and most expensive project of its type the city had ever undertaken.