LandCare Women Making a Difference in Hazelwood

Strengthening communities through vacant lot maintenance Have you ever wondered who maintains all of the vacant lots in Pittsburgh? With over 27,000 vacant lots in just the city alone, it takes a coordinated effort to care for this vast amount of vacant land. The City of Pittsburgh owns approximately 26% of Pittsburgh’s vacant lots and the URA owns another 5.2%, or around 1,400 vacant lots. If you haven’t really noticed a vacant lot in your community, chances are that it…

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Returning to Sustainable Return on Investment

This blog post was authored by GTECH's Research & Policy Intern, Lilli Kashef Hamadani. Email Lilli at l.kashef@gtechstrategies.org.  Returning to Sustainable Return on Investment Measuring the Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of the URA LandCare Program GTECH has been working on evaluating its programs through a Sustainable Return on Investment (SuROI) methodology. You might remember when our intern, Kate, wrote about SuROI lingo and shared the results of GTECH's first SuROI analysis, which measured the social and ecological value of…

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Green Spaces as Nature’s Medicine

Today's blog is by GTECH's Policy & Research Intern, Lilli Kashef Hamadani. Over the past two years, GTECH has been working with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to maintain vacant lots in Pittsburgh by contracting small business and nonprofits through the LandCare Program. Programs such as LandCare have been popping up all over the nation, and have been found to be largely beneficial to the residents, participants, and the city itself. Since programs like these impact thousands of residents nationally…

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Meet Tom, GTECH Intern

We are excited to welcome Tom to our team this summer as a GTECH Intern. Tom will be a junior at Winchester Thurston in the fall. He loves hands-on projects and will be assisting during work days this summer. Learn more about Tom below: My name is Sifan Tao, and people usually call me Tom. I am really excited to start my summer internship at GTECH. When I was in elementary and middle school, I loved labor skills classes. In those class,…

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Get to Know Lilli

My name is Lilli Kashef Hamadani, and I am excited to begin my summer internship here at GTECH. I am most recently from Southern California but describe myself as being from nowhere due to constant moving. Throughout my life, I always had a strong pull towards the outdoors and all the creatures that came with it (this ranged from horses to dolphins to snails). This interest has driven me throughout my undergraduate degree at San Francisco State, where I majored…

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Back at it again with GTECH, by Bree

GTECH is excited to welcome back Bree Prioleau! Bree interned with GTECH last summer and just finished her freshman year of college at Slippery Rock Univesity. She'll be joining the Green Playces team again this summer as well as helping with some environmental education initiatives and social media. Bree is the talented artist behind our new Super "G" children's t-shirts. Learn more about Bree below: Last summer was my first summer with GTECH! At the time I worked with two…

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GTECHers Share What Keeps Them Grounded

With GTECH's birthday just around the corner -- our real birthday is this Sunday(!) but we're celebrating next week -- the staff spent some time reflecting on what GTECH's turning 10 means to them. While it is easy to point to major accomplishments and milestones as being influential to our development over the past 10 years, it is the day-to-day things that truly stand out. The everyday interactions with community members, partners, volunteers, designers, planners, and policymakers continues to have the…

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Part 2: Looking Forward

Read Part 1 of Andrew's series highlighting GTECH's 10 year anniversary. In Part 1, Andrew reflects back on GTECH's past and evolution. Now, he's looking forward and getting ready to celebrate! There have been several guiding principles embedded in GTECH’s theory of change and ethos over the last decade.  Those principles have informed our strategy and evolution - and have manifested into some of our most exciting work underway now and paving the foundation for the next 10 years of growth…

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Welcome Rachel!

We're excited to welcome Rachel to the GTECH team! Name: Rachel Bowers Position: Project Coordinator Hometown: Baltimore, MD Background: Rachel has a BS in Environmental Health from the University of Maryland. In Baltimore, she worked for a local organization coordinating a garden and environmental education program for elementary students. While in Baltimore, she became a certified Baltimore TreeKeeper and was trained in the business and science of small-scale agriculture through a program called the Beginner Farmer Training Program. What led…

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Part 1: Looking Back at GTECH’s First 10 Years

Some highlights from GTECH’s first 10 years, from the Swiss Cheese Memory of Co-Founder and CEO Andrew Butcher Part 1: Looking Back  In reflecting upon all of the glory, trials and tribulations, humor, and defining moments of the last 10 years I am awash with memories and nostalgia.  The following is a series of brief snapshots of some unique moments worthy of sharing as we begin to celebrate ten years of Growth Through Energy + Community Health.   I’ll never…

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GTECH is Grounded. For Good.

GTECH’s new Executive Director, Evaine K. Sing, chose the above quote to represent our mindset as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary. In a letter to GTECH’s network earlier this month, Evaine shared her thoughts on this momentous and exciting occasion. She bid farewell to our founder and CEO, Andrew Butcher, and reflected on what the past 10 years has enabled GTECH to accomplish. The last decade has given GTECH the opportunity to move forward and approach work in the…

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5 Favorite GTECH Memories

After three and a half years, my last day working at GTECH will be this Friday. I've decided to take a leap into the world of ornithology (the study of birds). Before I leave, I'm taking a moment to reflect on my experiences here. These are five of my favorite memories at GTECH: 1. Learning the people's history of Pittsburgh One of my first tasks at GTECH in 2013 was to interview our incoming ReClaim South Ambassadors about their experiences of…

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