Ballpark Farm- Rain Garden
The Ballpark Farm is part of the Pittsburgh Project's Urban Farming Initiative, which is focused on community outreach. The Pittsburgh Project aims at "developing servant-leaders and upholding the dignity of vulnerable homeowners." The Urban Farming Initiative is a multifaceted project which has transformed an abandoned baseball park into a farm. The farm produces fruits, vegetables, and herbs providing the surrounding community with fresh and affordable produce. The farm is maintained by members of the community as well as students at Duquesne University. The Ballpark Farm provides an area for recreational activities, as well as containing a rain garden.
The rain garden located at Ballpark Farm was established to collect rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces. The rain garden is depressed into the ground allowing for rainwater collection and absorption into the soil. Here the water can be filtered and plantlife can be grown. By diverting rainwater runoff the rain garden lessens flooding events, erosion, water pollution, and increases groundwater retention.
"The overall influence the work with the Ball Park Farm had on me was very positive. I always enjoy work that involved physical work because it allows me to put a bit of myself into it. Sometimes when you do work for a community you can not tell how it impacts the people you are doing it for. The one day we worked there was a family there in the farm harvesting food. I didn't realize until then how important the farm was for them and how the work we did on it helped make their lives better. That was a way for them to get fresh food that is healthy. The woman even took time out to thank us for the work we do. It is extremely humbling because we take so much for granted. The work was definitely something I enjoyed but it made it even better to know that we were helping others and made their lives better.
This service was extremely important and it helped me to become a lifelong learner in a lot of ways. I have thoroughly enjoyed both the class portion and the portion with my community partner, the Urban Farm. This class has not only been a service requirement but has also really proven what "service learning" is. I have learned so much not only about my community agent but about being a leader and what I need to do in order to succeed in life."
-Casey DeVito, Biology 2015