Commodification of Kindness

We recently came across a BBC News video that shares the story of a UK-based concept of digital currency created in the city of Hull. The digital currency rewards people for doing good, or for doing volunteer work in their community. The rewards are non-monetary payments that allow volunteers to shop at participating stores and businesses for a discounted price. People who volunteer don’t usually get rewarded in this way. The creator of this digital currency in Hull calls this a commodification…

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What IS a Green Playce? …Fast Facts on this exciting program

The Green Playces Initiative is Grounded Strategies' youth-based programming and placemaking program.  Our origins  The Green Playces Initiative was formed out of research we conducted in 2014 that examined the prevalence of environmental education opportunities for youth in neighborhoods with high levels of vacancy, which yielded the Youth in Green report. Why Green Playces matter There is a growing body of evidence that tells us how important it is for youth to connect with their outdoor environment. Improvements in behavior,…

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Jump start your Spring with Land Lab!

Following up on our work in Larimer last year, Land Lab is back just in time for the 2018 growing season. Reinforcing our commitment to reinvigorating vacant lots throughout the city, Grounded will be hosting “Blight Doctors” for 1-on-1 discussions on vacant land issues, as well as offering participant selected content geared toward educating attendees on a variety of solutions to vacant land issues. Our expanded list of modules includes: Sustainable Planning 101: Designing Within a Realistic Scope - Content…

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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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Grab a seat at the roundtable.

What are the building blocks of community change? Peter Block argues that the answer is small-scale, informal, and personal resident engagement: the roundtable. The Grounded Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Liaisons have been putting this idea to the test while reading Block's work Community: The Structure of Belonging. Each month, we meet to discuss project activities as well as to take part in a group discussion about the best ways to increase resident involvement and buy-in, essential ingredients for community health and sustainability. Last month,…

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Black History. American History. History.

Grounder Rebecca Mizikar recently sat down with three former residents of Lincoln Way in Clairton to understand the vibrant black community that thrived there. Before the bulldozers demolished the last of the vacant houses along the dead-end street, before the city and developers started to talk about new visions for this blank slate of land at the edge of the town, before the Bigfoot and alien legends came to explain the decline and vacancy of an entire street, Lincoln Way…

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We’re Back! ReClaim Clairton 2.0 is Almost Here!

Gearing up for ReClaim Clairton 2.0 It is hard to believe that the first year of our ReClaim Clairton Ambassador program has come to a close. We are so excited and proud of the accomplishments that our Ambassadors have achieved over the past 12 months. ReClaim Clairton 2016 - 2017 The ReClaim Ambassador model builds the knowledge and capacity of residents to design, organize and lead vacant lot revitalization efforts. The 2016-2017 Clairton ReClaim Ambassador Program has engaged, equipped, and…

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Introducing Land Lab!

Spinning off from the successful city-wide Blight Bootcamp Conferences of the last two years in partnership with the Blight Working Group, GTECH is launching a series of Land Labs that will target the specific vacant land issues of a particular neighborhood. The first of the series will be hosted in Larimer! The first Land Lab is taking place on Saturday, November 4, in Larimer at St. James AME Church. The neighborhood is seeing significant development but is still dealing with high numbers of…

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Say Hello to the CommunityCare Stewards!

Meet the residents stewarding community greenspace through GTECH's new pilot program, CommunityCare. Our CommunityCare Pilot Program started in September and is now in full swing! GTECH is working closely with 11 CommunityCare Stewards that are maintaining and improving vacant land in the Homewood community. Our stewards are proud Homewood residents and passionate community members! They will dedicate 3 to 10 hours per month from now until May 2018 maintaining green and open spaces. In return, the stewards receive incentives of their…

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Meet our new GTECH GSI Neighborhood Liaisons

As we complete our GTECH Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) project in the Woods Run/O-27 sewershed on Pittsburgh's Northside, we are beginning the process in our next sewershed: the Negley Run/A-42 sewershed in the East End. As we did on the Northside, the first order of business for our GTECH GSI process was to hire neighborhood liaisons to represent the communities that make up this high-priority sewershed; Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, East Hills, and East Liberty. These liaisons will serve as GTECH's front…

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Announcing, the PGH Mobile Toolbox!

  We have been working hard to prepare our latest resource for vacant lot cleaning and greening efforts. Introducing the PGH Mobile Toolbox, a tool library on wheels, ready for your next workday or cleanup! This resource is brought to you through our partnership with Neighborhood Allies and is intended to fill the resource gap between project inspiration and its implementation. Through our experience, we found no shortage of good ideas and residents who are motivated to execute them. However,…

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ioby

Have ideas, need funds? Meet ioby!

Do you have an idea for a community project but no funding to get it off the ground? We’d like to introduce you to ioby. It's an amazing organization dedicated to helping neighbors grow and implement great ideas one block at a time. ioby’s crowd-resourcing platform connects leaders with funding and support to make our neighborhoods safer, greener, more livable and more fun.  While ioby is a national organization, they recently opened a branch in Pittsburgh! We want to introduce you to one of…

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