Campus works with Growth Through Energy and Community Health (GTECH) to create garden gathering space

The garden, sponsored by a ReClaim grant from GTECH, serves as a gateway to the campus, and will hopefully continue to foster collaboration between the campus and the community.

People driving down O’Neill Boulevard past the Penn State Greater Allegheny campus may have noticed that the entrance to campus has gotten a little facelift. 

A group from Penn State Greater Allegheny has created a garden that serves as a “gateway” to the campus. 

The garden was sponsored by a ReClaim grant from GTECH (Growth Through Energy and Community Health), which funded ten areas throughout McKeesport. According to the GTECH website, ReClaim McKeesport is a year-long education program that assists community members in implementing change on vacant land. In McKeesport alone, there are more than 2,500 vacant lots.

Dr. Alandra Kahl, Instructor in Engineering and ReClaim Ambassador, said, “I’m so excited to give my students the opportunity to be involved through the ReClaim project.  I wanted to create a community gathering space on campus. My hope is to continue to foster collaboration between the campus and the community.”

The project’s theme was “En-GAGE.”  April Belback, campus ACE Student Support Services program director, said, “We chose ‘En-GAGE’ because it could mean to engage in community service, or having the students engage in the space.  We hope that students will have meetings in the garden space or just hang out in the peaceful, beautiful area.”

Students digging in campus garden

Students working on campus garden project

Thanks to a ReClaim grant from GTECH (Growth Through Energy and Community Health), Penn State Greater Allegheny has created a garden that serves as a “gateway” to the campus. 

 

More than 50 individuals spent more than 30 hours helping, including a group of engineering students, the men’s soccer team, and students from the ACE program. “We would like to see more people volunteer to help.  We welcome anyone from the community who is interested in helping to beautify this space,” said Kahl.  This year, the group continues to revive and replant to upkeep the garden. 

The space, designed by local landscape architects and GTECH includes perennials that are native to Pennsylvania.  The space also includes some ground cover, a flower border and large boulders for seating.

The group would love to add some art to the outdoor space.  If you are an individual or class that is interested in contributing to the space, please contact Kahl at afk12@psu.edu or Belback at aeb32@psu.edu