The Elephant in the Room

This post has been authored by Tacumba Turner, GTECH's newest Project Coordinator!  Remembering the Reclaiming Vacant  Properties Conference : “The Elephant in the room” By Tacumba Turner During the three day Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference I got the chance to observe an array of innovative strategies that have been implemented in recent years across the country. In reflecting on what was my first time attending the conference, there was one break-out session in particular that resonated with me. The topic was…

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“Growth” v. Growth – Remembering the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, 2016

GTECH stands for Growth Through Energy and Community Health.  It goes without saying that we think growth is important.  But we should clarify what we mean by growth, because not all growth is positive.  In fact, when growth becomes synonymous with success and excludes other metrics, it can be downright detrimental.  At the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference (Baltimore, September 28-30), Congressman Dan Kildee referred to this phenomenon by insisting that we live in “a culture based entirely on the conflation…

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Opening Green Playces: Hilltop

Last week in partnership with The Brashear Association's Allentown Learning and Engagement Center, we successfully opened our third Green Playce! Every Green Playce is unique, and Green Playces: Hilltop is no exception. Nestled between two buildings, the site included a strip of pavement and a overgrown sloped hillside. We started to help design the Playce about six months ago, based on the input from the kids in ALEC's after school program. Their ideas for the space included pizza shops, roller coasters, and…

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10 Years & 10 Reasons for 10 Gallons of Apples

Got Apples? We need 'em! We need help from you - our amazing GTECH community! As we approach our 10 year anniversary, we are busy planning how to expand the reach and impact of our programming, continue to work with communities across Allegheny County to shape how land is used for shared benefit, and of course celebrate this important milestone. But also, for our 10 year celebration, A Few Bad Apples has offered to create a special anniversary edition GTECH cider  ----…

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What Fun We Had!

GTECH's 2016 Fall Fundraiser was a success! Thanks to all who attended Entrepreneurial Spirits 2016 on September 17th. We had a phenomenal time - and hope you did too. We shared highlights from our 2016 programming - including Green Playces, Lots to Love, and ReClaim Ambassadors. We highlighted some awesome work being done by our friends and partners - Barley & Bines, Grassroots Green Homes, and the URA LandCare Program We learned about some innovative, delicious endeavors - A Few…

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4 Steps to Get your Garden Ready for Fall!

As much as we don't want to admit it, summer is coming to a close. But, that does not mean that you gardening needs to come to a screeching halt, there is still plenty to do before winter arrives! Whether you fancy flowers, vegetables, or both, the principles are the same! Below, I have outlined some important fall tasks to ensure that you garden doesn't stop when summer ends. If you haven't already, start a compost pile! There are many benefits…

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Innovation and Beer! Come Try Something New.

We are so excited for our 2016 Entrepreneurial Spirits Fundraiser, on September 17th! This event is intended to celebrate a good season of successful project implementation, building community. Come join us while we kick back, relax, and enjoy some innovative libations.     Here's what the event features: Jonathan Chamberlain, of Delicious Pastries, playing a LIVE acoustic set!  The famous Franktuary food truck, serving up hot dogs all night A full size Wigle Whiskey cocktail A fabulous sample of a barrel-ages beer from…

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9 vacant lot projects around the world that inspire us

Pittsburgh isn't the only city trying to figure out what to do with its vacant lots and vacant spaces. People around the world have been thinking about this issue in their neighborhoods for decades. We decided to take a virtual trip around the world to check out how other cities are turning forgotten spaces into well-loved places! And... just a heads up... there are a few Pittsburgh examples in here too because, well, we're a little biased! 1. Magic Gardens: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…

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Green STEAM and Play Camp at Green Playces

Our Green Playces Initiative is in year two and GTECH has successfully built out two sites (Northside and Homewood) and will complete sites in McKeesport, Allentown, the Hill District, and the City of Wilkinsburg by the end of this calendar year. The original intent of this program was to partner with youth programs in areas of high vacancy to build an outdoor classroom or play space with input from youth and the community. The Green Playces Initiative started from investigating…

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Does sustainability = diversity?

GTECH is getting started with another year of evaluating and improving our internal practices through the Green Workplace Challenge! We are  joining other Pittsburgh area organizations in a collective effort to make our region a more sustainable place to live and work. This year, Sustainable Pittsburgh added a whole new focus area to these sustainable efforts: social equity. These actions focus on Diversity & Inclusion, equitable pay and benefits, and transparency.  Here at GTECH we are excited to be encouraged…

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Building Kids Dreams: From Maker Space to Play Space

GTECH’s Green Playces initiative closes the gap between the lack of environmental education and access to safe, vibrant green spaces for youth who live in close proximity to blighted, vacant land by transforming vacant lots into meaningful outdoor making and learning spaces for STEM education and eco-literacy curriculum (see Green Playces in action). We do this by transforming vacant lots in close proximity to youth facilities into kid-designed green spaces. The sites include outdoor classrooms, outdoor kitchens, or play spaces incorporating…

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Two Wheels Lots of Green Recap

Thank You! You Keep Us Rolling. Thank you to everyone who joined us on the bike tour or attended our pop-up community party at the Garden on Gearing for Two Wheels Lots of Green. THE RESULTS With your help we raised over $12,000 for our vacant land projects. We couldn’t have done it without you! Check out what riders had to say during the event. Tweets about 2wlog16

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