Blog

Blog

Grounded #StormwaterStories – A Workday in Homewood

"You all better get some food before we get started!" Zinna raised her voice slightly to be heard over the sizzle of hotdogs on the nearby grill. Volunteers put their gloves down and picked up a plate. They had been patiently waiting under the Grounded Strategies tent to get started with the planting of a newly excavated rain garden. The garden sits on the corner of Rosedale and Hill and is the newest addition of its kind to the Homewood neighborhood. Before…

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Grandma Bev’s Green Zone Party

Joining the Grounded network last September as a CommunityCare steward Beverly Howell, also known as Grandma Bev, showed her commitment to the Homewood neighborhood and to keeping it clean and green. Prior to joining the CommunityCare program, Bev has been a long-time active resident of Homewood, and even acquired the vacant lot next to her home through the City's Adopt-a-Lot lease program. Beverly envisioned this space next to her home to be a safe haven for the children of Homewood…

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VOLUNTEER FEATURE: U. S. STEEL

We Love Volunteers! Through the month of June, Grounded had the pleasure of hosting U. S. Steel volunteers in Braddock to support our work at Free Store 15104. Steelworkers from Edgar Thomson Works in North Braddock and employees from the U. S. Steel procurement office came out in full force for three full workdays. Our U. S. Steel volunteers blew us away with their commitment to the project, their creative problem-solving, and their ability to keep a smile on their…

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Sustainability Education

We recently came across a study published in The Journal of Environmental Education focused on the effectiveness of sustainability education in four different unique schools. The study lead to interesting results about which methods of sustainability messaging are most effective at encouraging youth to be environmentally conscious members of society. Schools must immerse students in sustainable practices and possess a culture of equality and sustainability in order to impact students. After interviewing students at each of the four schools, this…

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Grounded’s Guide to Getting Kids Outside this Summer!

July 6th: Summer Carnival + Bantam Night - Join us at our 2nd Annual Summer Carnival and Bantam Night at the Wiggle Whiskey Barrel House and Whiskey Garden. This event is for the whole family! Play carnival games, listen to live music, and enjoy food from Gaucho's food truck.   Check out one of our many Green Playces! Green Playces are hives of education, innovation, creativity, science and, most importantly, play. Grounded has partnered with organizations and schools throughout Allegheny County…

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Grounded in Milwaukee

In May, members of the Grounded team headed to Milwaukee to attend the Reclaiming Vacant Properties (RVP) conference. This year’s theme was Groundswell: Rising to the Challenge. The conference brought together grassroots leaders, community development professionals, program coordinators, and policymakers to exchange ideas on revitalizing distressed communities. Speakers and attendees shared insights on ways their communities are eliminating blight as we scribbled away furiously taking notes and we shared our own stories on how Pittsburgh is stabilizing and reclaiming vacant property. Grounded…

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Ambassador Highlight – Natalie Thomas

Natalie Thomas joined the Grounded network as a ReClaim South Ambassador in the 2013-2014 year and was involved again in the ReClaim South 2.0 Sustaining Momentum program in 2015-2016. Through the Ambassador program, Ms. Natalie created a community garden on a vacant lot in Beltzhoover to share with the community and engage children living in Beltzhoover. Recently, the Grounded staff visited Natalie's site for a workday to spruce it up and get it ready for the summer. The entire staff,…

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Commodification of Kindness

We recently came across a BBC News video that shares the story of a UK-based concept of digital currency created in the city of Hull. The digital currency rewards people for doing good, or for doing volunteer work in their community. The rewards are non-monetary payments that allow volunteers to shop at participating stores and businesses for a discounted price. People who volunteer don’t usually get rewarded in this way. The creator of this digital currency in Hull calls this a commodification…

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Grounded & Propel Andrew Street High School: Bringing Green Playces to Life.

This Spring, Grounded Strategies had the chance to revisit one of our Green Playces: Student Ambassador projects at a vacant lot owned by Propel Andrew Street High School in Homestead. Last fall, the Green Playces: Student Ambassador project worked weekly with Propel students to learn environmental justice principles and apply them to the vacant lot project.   On April 13, 3 Propel staff, 17 students, 6 alumni, and 2 Grounded staff picked up paint brushes, wheelbarrows and went to work. We…

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Birthday Giving

Grounded staffer, Shequaya, had the opportunity to correspond with Sarah Roberson who recently decided to dedicate her birthday to us on Facebook and that campaign raised a whopping $540. People like Sarah who are willing to donate time and/or money truly help to sustain the work we do. How did you first come to contact with Grounded Strategies? I found Grounded back in 2015 when I was looking for local Pittsburgh nonprofit groups to organize volunteer groups for my employer. How…

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What IS a Green Playce? …Fast Facts on this exciting program

The Green Playces Initiative is Grounded Strategies' youth-based programming and placemaking program.  Our origins  The Green Playces Initiative was formed out of research we conducted in 2014 that examined the prevalence of environmental education opportunities for youth in neighborhoods with high levels of vacancy, which yielded the Youth in Green report. Why Green Playces matter There is a growing body of evidence that tells us how important it is for youth to connect with their outdoor environment. Improvements in behavior,…

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Jump start your Spring with Land Lab!

Following up on our work in Larimer last year, Land Lab is back just in time for the 2018 growing season. Reinforcing our commitment to reinvigorating vacant lots throughout the city, Grounded will be hosting “Blight Doctors” for 1-on-1 discussions on vacant land issues, as well as offering participant selected content geared toward educating attendees on a variety of solutions to vacant land issues. Our expanded list of modules includes: Sustainable Planning 101: Designing Within a Realistic Scope - Content…

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