Unless

UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. South of Lake Erie, a businessman arrives in a pristine wilderness. He builds his first manufacturing plant and begins reining in enough profit on a product that “everyone needs” to allow him to open a second plant. And then a third. And a fourth. Soon the whole purpose of that once pristine natural environment seems to be the production of this good. The…

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Who owns vacant land?

Have you ever wondered who actually owns all of the vacant land around Pittsburgh? If so, then we have some answers for you! First, take a look at the map below to get a visual sense of the magnitude of vacancy in the City. The map marks vacant lots by owner, including the two largest land owners in Pittsburgh - the City of Pittsburgh, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and private owners. You can click on the map for a larger, zoom-able…

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Maintenance

Chores. The grind. Tedium. Labor. Maintenance is rarely thought of fondly. And few people are inspired by sameness. We don’t wake up thinking, “Wow! My sidewalk remains unbroken!  The trees in my park are still standing!” Instead we prefer to imagine our creations as permanent, somehow set apart from time, and nature. But the only constant in nature is change: plants grow, spread, die, decay, become soil again; paint fades, chips, peels; wood rots; metal rusts; concrete cracks; even the…

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Share the Love on Valentine’s Day

  Roses Are Red, Violets are Blue, The lot next door is vacant, What should I do?   After Groundhog's Day, the biggest thing to happen to February is Valentine's Day. While the mere thought of candy hearts and doilies may make you shudder, not everything about Valentine's Day has to be cheesy. This year, try something different and point cupid's arrow at a vacant lot.   Across the country, organizations and cities are incorporating vacancy into their celebrations on February 14th. Here…

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ReClaim South Update: What to look forward to this spring!

Since last fall, our ReClaim South Ambassadors have been working hard planning their vacant lot project enhancements. A lot of good things are happening in South Pittsburgh and we are excited to help add capacity to 8 projects this year! To date, the Ambassadors have completed 5 training sessions for the Sustaining Momentum Program, and with only 2 more to go, on the ground implementation is quickly approaching. Here is a breakdown of what we have covered thus far in…

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Green Playces’ Art Partners

We have worked hard to make our Green Playces a program that fosters creative partnerships. We’ve developed a close working relationship with Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) to convene local educators and community groups and create curricula. We’re bringing in interested schools beyond existing Green Playces locations to collaborate and improve each project and get more youth involved. We establish lasting relationships with each of our primary Green Playces Partners to ensure long-term maintenance. The list goes on. On…

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Green Playces is Developing Creative Partnerships

With our Green Playces Initiative, one of the key indicators of success is the quality of partnerships that we make around the project. Since these sites belong to community organizations and the people that live, work and play in the area, it's critical that these projects reflect what the residents want and need, and that there is a strong base of support to use the projects and keep them vibrant. We're rethinking the way we approach partnerships, and expanding our networks to…

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Vacant Land Inspiration – Green Stormwater Infrastructure

What if we could simultaneously transform two sets of liabilities into assets?   Massive financial investments are currently pouring into the Pittsburgh region to manage stormwater in order to 1) reduce combined sewer overflows and 2) improve water quality. Utilizing vacant land to manage stormwater represents an opportunity to improve community economic, environmental and social health through the transformation of two large sets of liabilities into assets. Cities across the nation, such as Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Tallahassee, are repurposing vacant land…

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Thank You!

  Thanks to our generous supporters GTECH was able to raise $28,459 in the $15K for $15K year end campaign! With the great success of this campaign we will be able to continue to support Ambassadors like Angela transform a blighted, vacant lot into a space of opportunity and inspiration for all to thrive. Not only will the $28,459 support activities like Angela’s in 2016, it will also ensure: That vacant lots are transformed into vibrant community-driven green spaces for youth with Green Playces…

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ROCIS: What I learned

Let's start with a bit of trivia - True or False: According to the EPA, the air inside the typical home is just as polluted as the air outside. The answer is False, but maybe not for the reason you think. Believe it or not, according to the EPA, air inside the average home is two to five times more polluted than the air outside. I learned firsthand about this through participation in the second round of the ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project.…

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5 Funding Sources to Help Sustain Your Greening Projects

Quick recap on the steps to implement a vacant lot project: 1. Use Lots to Love to select your lot and guide you through gaining access to the space. 2. Gather community input and support for your project. 3. Implement your project. 4. Sustain the project by holding events, maintaining and enhancing the space. In this blog, we explore step #4. Below are 5+ potential funding sources to help sustain your vacant lot greening projects.  Love Your Block Love Your Block is a…

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Words of Wisdom and Reflection from a GTECH Ambassador

With the holidays upon us, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment – whether it’s attending the endless holiday parties and family gatherings or running out to get a gift for that last impossible-to-buy-for person on your list – before we know it it’s January and we haven’t gotten a chance to relax and reflect on the past year. Here at GTECH we’re not immune. It’s been a mad dash to get everything finished before the holiday break,…

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