NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — When walking along Fifth Avenue in downtown New Kensington, one may notice a plot of land between two buildings. The space, once occupied by the Pittsburgh Beauty Academy until fire caused its demolition, has been home to the New Kensington Community Garden since 2012 — and Penn State New Kensington is playing an important role in making the garden a space the entire community can enjoy.
“Every year it’s gotten progressively larger,” said Patrick Coulson, volunteer coordinator of the garden and director of Westmoreland County Community College’s (WCCC) New Kensington Center. “Every year it seems like we’ve gotten more people involved.”
As the years have progressed, so has the garden and Fifth Avenue. A portion of the avenue has been officially dubbed as the Corridor of Innovation by Penn State New Kensington as part of the campus' commitment to ongoing revitalization initiatives in the city. The corridor — which spans from WCCC New Kensington to Penn State New Kensington’s innovation hub The Corner — includes the garden, as well as small businesses and vacant properties.