WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — Wilkinsburg High School students are turning an eyesore into a benefit for the community.

The high school Key Club teamed up with the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association to plant a rain garden in an empty lot.

“The last three days we’ve been working out here with the students from about 7:30 in the morning to three in the afternoon to really transform this space into something that will be a lasting legacy here,” Lisa Brown, Nine Mile Run Outreach Director, said.

Benches of stone are set in the midst of plants – each a native species. It’s a garden spot in the midst of a community where good news is often in short supply.

“There can be something positive about a negative situation, especially with the youth because we kind of symbolize the future and the future is change and the future is positivity,” Jordan Howard, a Key Club member, said.

The students designed the rain garden to absorb rainwater runoff, allowing it to sink into the ground instead of flowing into storm sewers.

“There’s nothing more I could do as a teacher than to say, ‘Hey, we have a legacy here,’” Dominic Woods, the Key Club adviser, said. “Our students are going to go off and do great things, but they could always come back and say, ‘Hey, I did this.’”

And perhaps shed a tear.

“I probably will cry because it’s like so much stuff that we put into this year,” Sarah Jackson, Key Club president, said. “It’s my senior year next year and like we’re all leaving, so it’s like a bittersweet thing.”

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