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Blog

State of the Land Report: December/End of Year Wrap Up

Welcome to the End of The Year State of the Land Report! December 2021 The State of the Land Report is our monthly update where we will be educating and sharing out about everything you need to know about vacant land policy in the City of Pittsburgh!  Advocacy Network Thank you for subscribing to our advocacy network, if you have not already done so please subscribe here. We must ensure that the process of land recycling and maintenance is conducted equitably,…

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State of the Land Report: November

Welcome to the November State of the Land Report! The State of the Land Report is our monthly update where we will be educating and sharing out about everything you need to know about vacant land policy in the City of Pittsburgh!  Advocacy Network Thank you for subscribing to our advocacy network, if you have not already done so please subscribe here.We must ensure that the process of land recycling and maintenance is conducted equitably, transparently, and through an anti-racist framework.…

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State of the Land Report: October

Welcome to the October State of the Land Report! The State of the Land Report is our new monthly update where we will be educating and sharing out about everything you need to know about vacant land policy in the City of Pittsburgh! In this report we will share with you everything you need to know about policy updates, new legislation in the works, land access strategies, facts about vacant land, need to knows about maintenance of City-owned vacant lots…

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Hike through Homewood Recap

Recap as told by: Philip Lawson         On the second week of March this year, Grounded Strategies partnered with Venture Outdoors for an event entitled “Snow Trek: A Winter Hike through Homewood.” With the help of several Homewood stewards and community partners, we had the chance to iterate an oral history of the Homewood-Brushton neighborhood, highlight a few standout institutions, and “get up close and personal” with a handful of well-stewarded community spaces. The event was a…

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Garden Lead Safe in 2021

While we're currently at the tail-end of winter, many folks I know are eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring. Perhaps none more-so than gardeners. These faithful Earth-tenders gain motivation from various places, but the majority of folks engaging in this 'hobby' (or way of life if you prefer) do so for the satisfaction of literally being able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. However, as with most things, context is critical. Our soils bear the burden of historically high…

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Working Radically – It’s More Feasible Than You Think!

Every year, Grounded has the honor of hosting a graduate student from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work in the Community, Organization, and Social Action Specialization. While this year has looked much different than in previous years, we have had the pleasure of adding Philip Lawson to our team. Check out his reflection from his first semester at Grounded! Thank you, Philip, for the love, care, and attention that you bring to our work! Reflection On My First Semester…

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Lisa Freeman: Healing Community through Urban Gardening

Who is Lisa Freeman? A “badass social worker” of 35+ years.  Founder and CEO of the Manchester Growing Together Farm. Founder and Proprietor of the Freeman Family Farm. “Unbought and unbossed,” just like her hero, Shirley Chisolm.  Lisa is a soldier for the people at heart. “Everything I say is what I mean. If I said it, I’mma stand up to it.” “I’m not a friend of politicians because I call them out, I look for ways to be on…

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Reducing Toxics in the Home Environment: Lead

The last week in October (25th-31st, 2020) is National Lead Poisoning Prevention week! During this time, there's a great deal of focus on reducing the threat of lead hazards in our environment. As you may know, lead is a naturally occurring chemical element that exists at low levels in a variety of earth materials. It is also a potent neurotoxin with negative impacts on a variety of systems within the body: in fact, there is no level of lead that…

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Black Neighborhoods Matter

 Black Neighborhoods Matter Connecting Community Health, Vacant Land, and Racial Justice  We are experiencing a watershed moment in our country’s history. In the wake of a global pandemic, expanding financial insecurities, and continued police brutality and homicides, Black, Brown, and allied communities are rallying to demand constructive change within government and our institutions. Across the country, communities are crying #DefundPolice -- a critique of the abnormal sums of money cities and states invest in policing and surveillance, while other systems,…

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Grounded Statement on Racial Violence

Grounded works to promote equitable access to quality greenspace within marginalized communities. We acknowledge that our work is not separate from the larger concerns of racial violence, stigmatization, and oppression. The context for our work, and the communities we work alongside, emerges from a long history of racial segregation, targeted divestment, redlining, and disenfranchisement of land from Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. We envision a region of thriving communities working together to sustain equitable change. The baseline for…

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One on One with Mark Rawlings, Northside ReClaim Ambassador

In 2014, Grounded Strategies launched ReClaim Northside, a program purposed to reclaim vacant land parcels and create high-quality community greenspace. In the process, more than 5,400 vacant lots in the Northside were surveyed, and 14 community residents were recruited and trained as Ambassadors. Among the 8 unique projects created throughout the Northside, the Terraced Side-lot Bioswale by Ambassador Mark Rawlings is an exceptional example of community-empowered design. Ten years ago when Mark first purchased his home in the Troy Hill…

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Bill 299_Press Release

Pittsburgh City Council CityFarms Project Resolution 2020-0299 Recommitted by City Council   Pittsburgh, PA:  April 28, 2020, Pittsburgh City Council recommitted Resolution 2020-0299. This bill would have authorized the Mayor and the Director of the Department of Public Works to enter into a Project Cooperation Agreement or Professional Services Agreements with Grounded Strategies for the purposes of implementing a CityFarms pilot project on city-owned vacant land. The resolution is expected to be updated to include an RFP process. Grounded Strategies,…

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