Meet Hank – The ReClaim McKeesport Superhero

Meet Hank. He is McKeesport's resident superhero. His superpower - helping fight blight alongside his neighbors. Here he is, taking a well deserved rest after a long evening of work on Shari's site. I met Hank for the first time last September at the McKeesport Dunkin Donuts. He came in for a quick interview and talked about his vision for a vacant lot near his home – a little park, in memory of his wife, with a volleyball court for his…

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Community-driven design isn’t just for adults

The first Green Playces design is complete and will be installed near the Propel Northside school in the Pittsburgh's Perry South neighborhood. How do you take a vacant lot and turn it into a creative outdoor classroom? Step 1: Ask the Kids For starters, we asked a group of third graders, "what would you do with this?":   These kids dream big, and we ended up with some pretty amazing ideas, like a giant pool party or even a ninja garden. Step 2: Make it real…

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6 Vacant Land Projects that Need Your Help NOW!

Check out these 6 grassroots crowdfunding projects that are making the Pittsburgh area even better place to live. 1. Ayanna Lee-Davis– The Perry Hilltop Beautification Garden Ayanna wants people enter her neighborhood and not see an ugly vacant lot, but a beautiful community gathering space in her Perry Hilltop neighborhood. “It’s an eyesore of open space that says, ‘Where am I?' I thought it would be a good place for something beautiful.” Help Ayanna ReClaim Pittsburgh >> 2. Dana Jackson– The…

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ReClaim Northside Ambassador featured in Next Pittsburgh

Cynthia Mendoza, founder of Brown Mamas and the Ambassador behind the A Place for Moms: Welcoming Corner project  is featured in Next Pittsburgh this week. Cynthia has been working hard for her Northside community of Observatory Hill. Not only is she is the process of repurposing a city-owned vacant lot for use as a community garden through the ReClaim Northside program, she is working on running her own nonprofit, Brown Mamas, while balancing the demands of motherhood. When her garden is completed this summer, she…

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Finding Common Ground on a Vacant Lot in Homewood

GTECH, the Pittsburgh Marathon, FedEx Ground, Operation Better Block and Whole Foods Market work together to reclaim a vacant lot along the marathon route. As a part of an annual partnership with the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, GTECH and community partners work to activate one of the hundreds of vacant lots along the marathon route. This year, GTECH partnered with FedEx Ground and Operation Better Block to activate and program a lot along Frankstown Avenue. To learn more about the project watch…

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Learning About Starbucks’ Sustainability Practices

Social Capital Council Members take a LEED Tour and Coffee Tasting with Starbucks   Starbucks is creating more eco-conscious stores on a global scale from the design stage right through to construction and operations.  Combined with their commitment to ethical sourcing, Starbucks is a global leader in sustainability. Thank you Paul Morack for giving Social Capital Council Members an inside look at Starbucks’ sustainability practices at their new LEED® certified store in One Oxford Centre.  We had a great time exploring the store's sustainable building…

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There are lots (and lots) of vacant lots to love in Pittsburgh

A New Tool Aims to Help Communities Reclaim Vacant lots throughout the Pittsburgh region.   In honor of Earth Day, GTECH, along with the Greenspace Alliance and the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning are launching lotstolove.org – a brand-new website that is the starting point for communities and resident to reclaim vacant lots in their neighborhoods. Here are few of the features of the website: an interactive map of vacant land in Allegheny County that is populated from…

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Pittsburgh, help us test Lots to Love

Lots to Love – a brand-new website that helps citizens and communities track and reclaim vacant land in their neighborhoods – needs users to try out the site during its beta launch.  [bctt tweet="Help @GTECHStrategies test out the new #lots2love website. #ReClaimPGH https://groundedpgh.org/?p=6338 " via="no"] GTECH invites residents of Allegheny county to test out  this community tool by clicking on the button below and answering the survey questions. Feedback will be gathered up until the public launch on April 22.      

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Vacancy in my Community, McKeesport Library Neighborhood

Shari Holland, ReClaim McKeesport Ambassador “A garden should make you feel you've entered privileged space -- a place not just set apart but reverberant -- and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”  - Michael Pollan I love many things… poetry, gardens, beauty, community building and diversity, just to name a few. Being a transplant to Pittsburgh, I also love…

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Community Leaders in McKeesport talk the future of youth

On Tuesday night at the Twin Rivers Intermediate School in McKeesport, GTECH hosted a panel discussion about engaging youth in McKeesport.   The panel of local leaders who discussed youth engagement as part of the event included the following: Nikita Zook, Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time partnership coordinator Brie Adams, McKeesport Area School District coordinator of educational opportunities Austin Davis, executive assistant to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald Keino Fitzpatrick, Youth CAST — Community and Schools Together — developer Laura Bosnak-Thompson,…

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For the Love of Lots!

[bctt tweet="There is lots to love about #Pittsburgh. What former vacant lot has your heart? #LoveThatLot https://groundedpgh.org/?p=5715"] With only a few days left until Valentines Day, it's hard not to feel that love is in the air. This week the Center for Community Progress is asking you to share the love and give recognition to those battling blight and vacancy in their community by posting photos of your favorite transformed vacant lots.  It's easy to participate, just follow these instructions…

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Thank You!

With your help we raised $18,627 during our year end fundraising campaign! Here are a few things to look forward to in 2015: 1 brand new, very helpful website that will help Pittsburgh residents tackle vacant land in their communities. 20 new, Ambassador-led green spaces popping up on vacant lots in the Northside and Mckeesport. 300 residents in Millvale, Homewood and Hazelwood competing to save the most energy. What are you looking forward to in 2015? Tell us below.

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