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For Immediate Release: Mon., April 8

Contact: Julie LaBar | Director of Marketing and Communications
412/622-6915, ext. 3801 ǀ

Phipps Conservatory’s Homegrown Program Recognized with Mary Savage Award for Neighborhood Beautification
Operation Better Block honors Homegrown for its community outreach and impact in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood

Pittsburgh, PA — Operation Better Block (OBB) recognized Homegrown, a community outreach program of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, with the Mary Savage Award for Neighborhood Beautification at OBB’s gala event held on April 5.  OBB is a community development organization that provides community, youth and housing development programs and builds cooperative partnerships in support of the Homewood community.  Founded in 1971, OBB is an advocate for beneficial, community-informed development in Homewood and provides a variety of programs that support Homewood residents including Junior Green Corps, a program that teaches youth about sustainability.  Phipps was one of four honorary award recipients at the gala, recognizing outstanding contributions to the Homewood community.

Since its inception in 2013, Homegrown has installed over 225 raised-bed vegetable gardens at households in underserved neighborhoods and provided valuable training, mentorship and resources to hundreds of community members. The Homegrown program began in Homewood, where gardens have been installed in almost one in every 10 households, and has since expanded into the Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, Belmar and East Hills neighborhoods.  Homegrown helps families keep their gardens growing by building and honing participants' gardening skills and knowledge. Covering topics from weed and pest management to healthy cooking skills, monthly classes allow new gardeners to realize the full potential of their raised beds while offering opportunities for neighbors to connect.  

Homegrown’s focus and impact go beyond garden installations and mentoring to include community greening by planting thousands of daffodil bulbs with home gardeners each fall for perennial spring blooms, advocacy as a member organization of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, participation in speaking events to share the benefits of edible gardening and more. 

Phipps’ Associate Director of Adult Education Gabe Tilove and Community Outreach Coordinator Lauren DeLorenze accepted the award on behalf of Homegrown at OBB’s annual fundraiser gala celebrating Homewood’s youth and educational legacy on April 5 at the Omni William Penn hotel in Pittsburgh. 

To learn more about Phipps' Homegrown program, visit


About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA is a globally recognized green leader with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Encompassing 15 acres including a historic 14-room glasshouse, 23 distinct indoor and outdoor gardens and industry-leading sustainable architecture and operations, Phipps attracts nearly half a million visitors annually from around the world. Learn more at

Select photos © Mothlight Creative