Volunteer

GTECH Super-Volunteer: Scott!

Building out projects like our Green Playces takes a lot of hard work.  If we had to it all ourselves, they'd never get done.  We love working with the users and neighbors of these spaces, but we also welcome volunteers from around Allegheny County (and beyond, if you like). One of these volunteers really stepped up for the build out of our Hill District Green Playce. He attended every one of our five build days and played a huge role in developing…

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walking biking

Northside neighborhood trail maps now available!

Whether you live in Pittsburgh's Northside or not, it's unlikely that you've been able to explore each and every one of its 18 neighborhoods. Now you can do just that! We have trail maps, fresh off the press, for each of the Northside's neighborhoods. Over the past 2 years we've worked alongside One Northside and Northside residents to map out important community treasures and identify the best routes to explore them. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of assets! Our…

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ReClaim Halloween

My earliest memory is of my neighbor popping out of his front door in a full pumpkin costume when I was trick-or-treating with my parents. I don’t know if there’s a causal link here, but Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. And, sort of relatedly, my favorite color is orange (which, if we believe this study, is one of the rarest favorite colors). I’ve always looked forward to having a house with a yard that I could decorate like…

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Opening Green Playces: McKeesport

  Last week in partnership with Trinity Church of God in Christ and Youth CAST, we successfully opened our fourth Green Playce! Every Green Playce is unique, and Green Playces: McKeesport in no exception.  The City of McKeesport has a rich history and our Green Playces Team wanted to honor the tradition of ingenuity as well as the connection to steel.  According to Tube City Online, "In 1872, the National Tube Works Company was founded to make steel and iron pipes…

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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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