Mt. Oliver City/St. Clair Projects

What are the Hilltop Farm & Homes?


Hilltop Farm & Homes

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The Hilltop Farm & Homes plan is a proposed conservation community for the former St. Clair Village property that would include significant green infrastructure, a walking trail network, and 120 energy-efficient townhomes, anchored by what would be one of the largest urban farms in the United States. The Hilltop Farm will include a Production Farm, Farmer Incubation Program, Community Farm Market, Youth Farm, Events Barn, and Community Garden.

Throughout 2015, the Hilltop Alliance worked with Sota Construction Services, Common Ground, InSite Design, Butter Hill Farm, Grow Pittsburgh, Lighthouse Cathedral, and Liberty Prairie Foundation to create the Soil Rebuilding Plan, complete the Hilltop Farm & Homes Master Plan, and develop the Operations Plan for the Hilltop Farm.

As we continue to work with federal, state, and local government agencies to make this plan a reality, 2016 will be an important year related to site ownership and project financing. Separate from this plan, we will also see Arlington K-3 and 3-8 merge and move into a fully-renovated K-8 school at the former Philip Murray Elementary School building, across Mountain Avenue from the proposed Hilltop Farm & Home site. In addition to the "Welcome to the Hilltop" gateway signage at Mountain and Wagner, we will also be working to complete the community gathering space at Mountain and Fisher.

Media Coverage

We would like to thank Diana Nelson Jones at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for her "Walkabout" column's coverage of all the exciting things going on in our Hilltop neighborhoods.  Be sure to check out her coverage of the Hilltop Urban Farm here. You can also read about the South Pittsburgh Reporter's coverage of the project here, here, and here.  Tory Parrish featured the project in an article on Triblive.com, as well.


Coordinated Support Services Plan

Hilltop Alliance, in conjunction with Lighthouse Cathedral, is currently structuring a program specifically targeting services for the portion of the St. Clair neighborhood immediately adjacent to the former St. Clair Village Site where the Hilltop Urban Farm is being proposed.  This program would potentially include: (1) street paving and new sidewalks; (2) free residential facade and structural renovations; and, (3) vacant lot clearing and maintenance.


The Green ToolBox Report

The Green ToolBox is a compendium of strategies that Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has been implementing for years in the region’s cities and towns.  The ToolBox document offers a variety of information about the specific benefits of different types of greening, details about current best practices for various green strategies, costs of different approaches to greening, and some guidelines for ranking and choosing among different options. 

The specific goals of the Hilltop Green ToolBox have been to develop a set of recommendations and an action plan outlining approaches to the recommended actions.  The action plan is intended to provide support and context for other important initiatives in the Hilltop communities, including youth development, housing assessment, commercial revitalization, and others.  To support the ToolBox process, a team of representatives from member neighborhoods was assembled and met to guide and participate in the assessment, development of options, and review of recommendations, all in collaboration with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Department of City Planning, representatives of the Mayor’s office, and Hilltop Alliance board members. 

To view the full 2012 Hilltop Communities Green ToolBox Report with community profiles, assessments of existing conditions and assets, and recommendations, click here.

In the process of implementing the Green ToolBox, the Hilltop Alliance has:
- Created the Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop fresh produce distribution program.
- Been working with GTECH's ReClaim South Program to train 12 neighborhood ambassadors from all Hilltop neighborhoods how to acquire, plant, and maintain community gardens.
- Been working with Grow Pittsburgh and the Penn State Cooperative Extension to put together an implementation plan for creating a Hilltop Farm & Homes at the former St. Clair Village site, as described above.