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Community and Economic Development

Hilltop Urban Farm is a nonprofit, community-centered farm in Pittsburgh’s Hilltop community. Located on 107 acres of land – it produces locally-grown crops, provides agriculture-based education, generates entrepreneurial opportunities, and strengthens communities.

Colcom Foundation has supported Hilltop Urban Farm since the farm’s first days in operation. Colcom funding has played an important role in establishing our Youth Farm, which has served over 1,200 Hilltop youth since 2019. Colcom Foundation also provided critical support to establish our Farmer Incubator Program, which provides beginning farmers with access to land, water, tools, and training opportunities, that are incredibly difficult to find, especially in an urban setting. Colcom has also played a pivotal role in the establishment of our Community Farm, which is a half-acre plot farmed by Hilltop staff and volunteers. All the fresh produce from the Community Farm is donated to Hilltop-serving food banks/food pantries. In just a few seasons, over 13,000 pounds of fresh produce has been donated to these food banks from the Community Farm.

John Bixler, Executive Director

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is a non-profit community development organization that develops and implements innovative programs to enhance the Downtown neighborhood, cultivate a vibrant residential population, and stimulate a diverse retail community.

Colcom Foundation has been a vital partner in the PDP’s work, contributing significantly to programs that build a vibrant and welcoming experience, including historic preservation, outdoor dining, holiday events and horticulture. Colcom’s investments and long-term partnership have had a measurable impact on Downtown Pittsburgh’s success as the cultural and economic heartbeat of our region.

Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO

Grounded improves the social, economic, and environmental health of communities by building capacity to reclaim vacant and underutilized land.

Grounded was fortunate enough to receive funding from Colcom Foundation to support our Lots to Love trio of resident support services. These include: Land Doctor – A technical assistance program to aid residents in their acquisition of and access to vacant and underutilized parcels in Allegheny County, The Refresh Fund – A reimbursement program to support residents in maintaining vacant space projects by providing materials such as paint, mulch, and plants to sustain existing greenspace projects, and The PGH Mobile Toolbox – A “Shed on Wheels” containing enough landscape maintenance equipment to outfit a large team of volunteers for community upkeep.

Grow Pittsburgh develops and supports food-growing initiatives and programs across the region as a key way to improve the social, economic, environmental, health, and educational realities of people in our community.

Colcom Foundation has provided Grow Pittsburgh with vital support to help improve quality of life for Allegheny County residents through community gardening.  Support for Grow Pittsburgh’s community food-growing programs has helped to boost community and economic development, strengthen food security, empower residents, improve the environment, and promote physical and mental health. Colcom grant support has directly helped create, sustain, and preserve community gardens as lasting resources in our region where folks can share in the many benefits of growing and sharing food.

Denele Hughson, Executive Director

Scenic Pittsburgh protects, enhances, and promotes the scenic beauty – both natural and built – of southwestern Pennsylvania.

With Colcom’s generous support, Scenic Pittsburgh has been able to help communities across southwestern Pennsylvania identify their scenic assets, protect their scenic character, and address issues of sign proliferation, blight, and careless development. Colcom understands our work of preserving and promoting scenic beauty goes beyond simply enhancing the physical aesthetics of our surroundings; it positively impacts the lives of individuals and communities, creating a more harmonious and sustainable world.

Mike Dawida, Executive Director

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