Borland Green is a cohousing community located in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty and centered around Borland Garden, an urban green space with a native food forest, small fruit orchard, organic vegetable beds, herb gardens, and rain-water harvesting. We are an open and affirming community for all people, building a space of mutual flourishing for one another and the neighborhood beyond the set of houses surrounding the garden.
We are a relatively new cohousing community, founded in 2011 by a group of about ten families and individuals, including teachers, environmentalists, artists, and Quakers, with support from local community non-profits. Rather than building a new cohousing space from the ground up, we have renovated run-down city housing for our homes and a vacant lot for the garden, which is the center of the community, with a large activity shelter.
Structurally, we have a dual identity:
1. A Home-Owners Association for seven privately owned row houses on one block alongside Borland Garden; four other nearby households are part of the Borland Green cohousing community and participate in monthly council meetings and other gatherings (most involving food and music). We are by design multi-generational, including families with young kids and folks in our 70s.
2. The community’s center is Borland Garden, with common space for gatherings, programs for neighborhood kids, and allotments for vegetable gardens, with shared tools, etc. The land is owned by 12 members as a Cooperative; other neighbors pay a small annual rent for plots. The Garden holds monthly workdays, planning meetings, and social events. A large shelter was added in 2019 for outdoor gatherings.
We differ from some of the cohousing sites in the Association’s directory only in that we do not have a common building. Instead, we have Borland Garden with its lawn and pavilion. The Garden beautifies our surroundings and serves as a common workspace in which we can practice our values regarding community and environment.
Over the years, we have designed and hosted some beautiful events and programs, such as plant sales, cider festivals, the Bonfire Reading & Music Series, and Art in the Garden summer camps which allow neighborhood children to connect with the earth and expand their creativity. We have varied interests as individuals, and as a collective we believe in caring for ourselves, each other, and the world.
Borland Green is close to Highland Park, grocery stores, a farmers’ market, public library, coffee shops, and a gym-and pool-equipped community center. Bus lines and bike paths run to the universities, hospitals, and downtown Pittsburgh.
- Community Garden
- Some units visitable
Welcomes Visitors (fee may apply)
- Common Meals
- Individual Tours
- Work Days
- 1-3 meals per month
- Optional participation
- Nick Coles