Kathy’s Farewell

In my ten weeks at Grounded Strategies, I have learned several important things and gone through many valuable experiences. Even my perception of what a job entails has changed. Interning at a non-profit has shown me how passionate a group of people can be in the office. This not only influenced the office atmosphere but also increased my motivation. My time at Grounded has made me a lot less afraid of what’s to come after college and incredibly excited to…

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Interim ED Statement

Dear Pittsburgh, Over the past four weeks, I have had the opportunity to intently and carefully reflect on the very recent and significantly consequential leadership transition here at Grounded Strategies.  To say the least, this introspective endeavor has included a deep consideration of the role I have been tasked to play as the appointed Interim Executive Director of the organization. From this context of observation and mindfulness, I would like to directly address our partnering communities, funders, friends, and supporters…

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From the Board of Directors

Greetings Grounded Community, Happy June and thank you to all those who joined us for a spectacular Geared up and Grounded bike ride this last weekend. With this turn of season - I write to inform you that as of June 1st, 2019, Evaine K. Sing has departed her role at Grounded Strategies. It is always hard to say goodbye to a long-term, valued employee but we do so with a great appreciation of all her contributions as part of…

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A Vacant Lot… and so much more

At the corner of Estella Avenue and Climax Street in Beltzhoover, there sits a vacant lot. In 2011, a group called Creative Visions decided to take some action and proceeded to clear the lot, create a few garden beds and plant some flowers. Already a significant improvement, that is not where this story ends. Enter Ms. Natalie Thomas, a self-proclaimed “nebby neighbor,” who happens to live just across Estella with a great view of the lot. She wanted more.   In…

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Democratic Vacant Land Processes

In its utopic form, democracy is facilitated through widely dispersed power. Widely dispersed power allows for the fair and equitable negotiation of sometimes conflicting interests. Through negotiation, people are able to find positions of true (rather than coerced) compromise. This form of democracy is only possible through community organizing and engagement. The combination of organizing and engagement is instrumental to democracy’s foundational need for fair and equitable representation. Through our Hill District program, Reclaim Central 2.0, we are attempting to…

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ReClaim Central 2.0: Update

In the winter of 2016-17, Grounded recruited a dozen Central Hill District residents, called Ambassadors, to lead the movement for reclaiming vacant lots. In the spring of 2017, the Ambassadors began work on vacant lots around the Hill District and in total created 5 new community spaces for residents to utilize. Fast forward to fall 2018, after a year of engaging residents on the sites and gathering input about if the spaces were welcomed and accepted we were asked to come…

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Grounded in East Hills

As part of our investigative process, Grounded Strategies is exploring East Hills for further intervention. Having recently installed rain gardens in the Park Hill Drive Community, we're now working with the East Hills Consensus Group (EHCG) to help them advocate for improvements in the entire East Hills neighborhood. The main focus points for EHCG in terms of community strategy are Stormwater, Public Safety, and Community Beautification.     During our tour of the neighborhood, it became apparent just how important…

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Pitt 1st Years are Grounded in Homewood

As part of their orientation process at the start of the fall semester, first years at Pitt joined Grounded in Homewood for a day of service. We worked together on a litter cleanup, while engaging in thought provoking discussions about the ties between refuse, home abandonment, poverty, and access to green space.     Our litter cleanup also served as a walking tour of the neighborhood, to show areas where Grounded has already built a presence, as well as areas…

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Sweet Serenade

My time at Grounded strategies happened purely by chance and man was it a stroke of good luck. I heard of Grounded from a Facebook advertisement after I had recently expressed interest in wanting to work on community gardens. The event was called a “Land Lab”: in which they go to different neighborhoods they want to invest in and give neighbors and stakeholders details of all the programs/resources they have to offer. After an hour of questions, jokes and heartfelt…

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See You Later!

I’ve been putting off writing this blog post because I’m sort of in denial that my time here at Grounded has come to an end. I started here last year at the very beginning of my grad program in Social Work and Public Administration at Pitt (seriously, I started before orientation because I just couldn’t wait). I really was not sure what I was getting myself into, but thought it would be fun. A year later and it has turned…

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Arianna makes her mark on Grounded

During my time as in intern at Grounded Strategies, I had the opportunity to meet the amazing people that work to make Pittsburgh a better place.  I started out not knowing much about green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and most of what was going on in the office went over my head. But after some time, I started learning a lot about Pittsburgh’s stormwater management issues and exactly what Grounded was doing to help.  While I was there, I got to…

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Following a rain drop at Park Hill Drive

Grounded continues its Green Stormwater Infrastructure work in the Park Hill Drive community in East Hills. Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) design and implementation are just one of the services we offer here at Grounded Strategies. As we plan each such project, we consider the fate of rainwater as it encounters the built environment. Let's follow a raindrop through one of our GSI facilities in the Park Hill Drive community! The first thing that a raindrop is likely to encounter in…

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