Our Partners & Local Contractors
Like agriculture itself, Hilltop Urban Farm is a collective endeavor. It is born of the carefully cultivated efforts of multiple partners, all of whom share our commitment to strengthening communities through the production of and access to locally-grown food. Our partners span numerous foundations, organizations, universities and more.
Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) is a nationally accredited conservation land trust whose mission has been helping local people save local land in the Pittsburgh region for nearly a quarter of a century. The Allegheny Land Trust is working to acquire and permanently conserve the Hilltop Urban Farm (23 acres) and the unbuildable hillsides (63 acres).
The Allegheny Land Trust Environmental Education team is a partner of the Youth Farm at Hilltop Urban Farm, brings with it over 25 years of combined experience in the environmental education field, and employs Program Facilitators who hold all required clearances and training to work with students in the classroom and outdoors. The ALT Education Department staff provides high-quality standards-based programs that incorporate STEM concepts in hands-on, conservation, and natural history-themed lessons.
Penn State Extension Allegheny County delivers place based programs based on community needs and connects residents to the rich resources of Penn State University. Penn State Extension (PSE) is driven by the belief that ALL people should have access to science-based information and education. PSE also acts as a conduit connecting faculty and students to opportunities for research, study and engagement in a dynamic urban environment.
PSE and Penn State University College of Agriculture are partners with the Hilltop Urban Farm. PSE will provide consulting services during the development of the Hilltop Urban Farm and education programming at the Youth Farm and Farmer Incubation Program. PSE was a consultant in developing the Feasibility Study for the Hilltop Urban Farm proposal in 2013-2014 with Grow Pittsburgh.
Grow Pittsburgh (GP) is a nonprofit that serves as a resource and guide for backyard, school and community gardeners, as well as urban farmers across the Greater Pittsburgh region. Their mission is to teach people how to grow food and promote the benefits that gardens bring to local neighborhoods.
Grow Pittsburgh, an education partner of the Youth Farm, brings School Garden Program curriculum, teacher training modules, and expertise to the partnership with the Pittsburgh Arlington PreK-8 School and New Academy Charter School.
The Hilltop Urban Farm is located at the 107-acre former St. Clair Village site, which was closed in phases up until 2010. Since 2010, the site has been entirely cleared, vacant land. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) owns the property. The Hilltop Alliance has a renewable site access agreement between HACP and Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) and Hilltop Alliance which allows for the projects and programs of the Hilltop Urban Farm.
Hilltop Alliance is structured as a collaborative organization comprised of community-based organizations from the following eleven South Pittsburgh neighborhoods: Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Beltzhoover, Bon Air, Carrick, Knoxville, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver City, South Side Slopes, and Saint Clair, as well as Mount Oliver Borough.
Hilltop Alliance incubated the Hilltop Urban Farm project from 2013 to 2018, when Hilltop Urban Farm became an independent nonprofit organization. The two organizations share an office and work to support each others missions in the Hilltop community of south Pittsburgh.
The Mt. Oliver City/ St. Clair Community Group is one of eight member organizations of the Hilltop Alliance. The Mt. Oliver City/ St. Clair Community Group is a resident-led, all-volunteer organization that in 2012 requested the Hilltop Alliance explore the redevelopment of the vacant 107-acre HACP property in St. Clair. The Group supports the ongoing Hilltop Urban Farm’s development through neighborhood-based outreach and engagement.
Students, parents and teachers at Pittsburgh Arlington PreK-8 school participate in curriculum during school, after school and on-site at the Youth Farm at Hilltop Urban Farm.
In August 2016 a vacant elementary school directly across from the entrance to the Hilltop Urban Farm was renovated and reopened by the Pittsburgh Public School System as Pittsburgh Arlington PreK-8, through a $10 Million reinvestment. The school now has 363 enrolled students. Over 85% of the students enrolled are ‘economically disadvantaged,’ which means the students receive services through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, or Food Assistance.
The mission of New Academy Charter High School is to engage each student in a variety of education experiences needed to achieve maximum potential as a positive, contributing member of a diverse and changing society. New Academy Charter School brings high school students to the Youth Farm at Hilltop Urban Farm from their Arlington location.
Lighthouse Cathedral is a non-denominational church on Fisher Street in the St. Clair neighborhood (two blocks from the site) that hosts an after-school and summer program for 150 children ages 5 to 15 and is a Youth Farm partner of the Hilltop Urban Farm.
In 2014 Lighthouse Cathedral hosted the public meetings for the Hilltop Urban Farm Feasibility Study.