Two New Green Playces

Last month we celebrated the opening of Green Playces:Homewood – the second of five Green Playces to be created by the end of next year. Every community is different. Every Green Playce ought to reflect that difference. We just hope to tie some common threads between these different Playces, the first of which is in the name. So let’s explore the differences (and the similarities!) between our first two Green Playces. It’s time to Venn Diagram: In the Northside, we took…

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Pittsburgh’s First Blight Bootcamp

November 7th was the first ever Pittsburgh Blight Bootcamp where residents, nonprofit professionals and government representatives were able to meet, mingle, and educate each other on topics surrounding the issues of vacancy and blight in the Pittsburgh region. GTECH had the honor of being a central organizer of the Pittsburgh Blight Bootcamp as a member of the Pittsburgh Blight Working Group, a partnership between the City of Pittsburgh Office of the Mayor and Permits, Neighborhood Allies, PCRG, the Design Center of…

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The Challenges of Reclaiming Vacant Land

  Creating something new out of a vacant lot isn't always easy. There are a number of challenges a person can run into, but getting access from the property owner can be one of the toughest ones. This was the case for Bridget Little, an Ambassador for GTECH's ReClaim Northside program. This is her story. Bridget, along with many of her neighbors, had been eyeing a large vacant lot in Allegheny West for quite some time. In fact, some had already put…

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Creating an Inclusive City for All Ages with Gil Penalosa

Gil Penalosa is the founder and Board Chair of 8 80 Cities, a nonprofit organization that works with cities all around the world to create inclusive cities for all residents - from 8 to 80 years old! (Think about it like this, would you let an eighty year old or an eight year old - or both of them, together - walk to the park together in your neighborhood?) Gil is a community designer, having worked in cities across the globe, he's helped to advise…

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ReClaim Ambassadors Graduate!

We love celebrating the great work of the ReClaim Ambassadors—recently, we were lucky enough to celebrate with two graduations in one week! ReClaim McKeesport Graduation The proclamations, given to each of the Ambassadors at the graduation ceremony, explained the program well; "...ReClaim McKeesport has brought together nine civic-minded individuals for the benefit of this city as the initiative is aimed to beautify neighborhoods and establish a sense of community among those who volunteer..." The Heritage Center was a perfect backdrop - allowing us to celebrate the…

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Two Wheels Lots of Green 2015 Wrap Up!

More than 90 bikers visited just a few of the community-driven spaces that the Northside has to offer. Altogether we visited 14 different Northside-based assets, met 10 awesome, active Northside residents and raised more than $12,500 to support neighborhood-based greening initiatives   Did you bike with us this year? [View the story "2015 Two Wheels Lots of Green" on Storify]

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412Build cohort unveils Homewood-based projects, shares life lessons

A mere five weeks ago, local high school students began the 412 Build program – a unique internship that fuses elements of STEAM education, entrepreneurialism, play and community development. On Friday, these proud students unveiled their built additions and shared their personal takeaways. In partnership with the Homewood Bible Center the youth engaged the community, designed kid-centric elements to enhance the Homewood-based playground. Features designed, built and installed by the 412Build cohort   The evening kicked off with a passionate Homewood resident taking the…

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How to gain Community Support for your Vacant Land Project Idea

The key for your community project's success is getting the community's support.   So you've checked out Lots to Love, found a vacant lot in need of some love and have the perfect idea for the space – now what? Well, the first step to getting your idea off the ground is building a community around it. 1. Make a plan Develop a plan with as much detail as you can. Where is the proposed site? What do you plan on doing with…

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7 (Free) Things You Can Recycle & Reuse to Spruce up a Vacant Lot

Landscaping a vacant lot can be expensive. Below you will find a 7 different types of free or almost free materials that our Ambassadors used to beautify there vacant lot project. From Craigslist finds to items bound for the landfill, these pieces now serve a productive community purpose and didn't break the bank. 1. Landscaping rocks Perusing the "free" and "lawn & garden" sections of Craigslist, Alandra & April found some GIANT rocks that someone was getting rid of. They want to use as…

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Homewood Residents Young and Old Give Input on the Next Green Playce

Homewood Bible Center hosted an input session for community stakeholders. On July 13, GTECH partnered with the staff at the Homewood Bible Center to host a community input session where residents (yes, even those as young as 4!) had the opportunity to share their ideas for their Green Playce project being installed this fall. Overall kids, teens and adults decided they want to see colorful and educational installations. In addition they'd like to see benches and other spaces that encourage gathering.…

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Volunteer Opportunity: Two Wheels Lots of Green

Bikers needed to help lead a ride through Northside neighborhoods   Our 4th annual project showcase and fundraiser Two Wheels Lots of Green is happening August 22nd, and we need a few good volunteers to help make it the best that it can be!   If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the form below.  Once your responses have been submitted we will contact you with more information about your role and logistics for the day.  Thank you for…

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