Blog

Blog

9 vacant lot projects around the world that inspire us

Pittsburgh isn't the only city trying to figure out what to do with its vacant lots and vacant spaces. People around the world have been thinking about this issue in their neighborhoods for decades. We decided to take a virtual trip around the world to check out how other cities are turning forgotten spaces into well-loved places! And... just a heads up... there are a few Pittsburgh examples in here too because, well, we're a little biased! 1. Magic Gardens: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…

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Green STEAM and Play Camp at Green Playces

Our Green Playces Initiative is in year two and GTECH has successfully built out two sites (Northside and Homewood) and will complete sites in McKeesport, Allentown, the Hill District, and the City of Wilkinsburg by the end of this calendar year. The original intent of this program was to partner with youth programs in areas of high vacancy to build an outdoor classroom or play space with input from youth and the community. The Green Playces Initiative started from investigating…

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Does sustainability = diversity?

GTECH is getting started with another year of evaluating and improving our internal practices through the Green Workplace Challenge! We are  joining other Pittsburgh area organizations in a collective effort to make our region a more sustainable place to live and work. This year, Sustainable Pittsburgh added a whole new focus area to these sustainable efforts: social equity. These actions focus on Diversity & Inclusion, equitable pay and benefits, and transparency.  Here at GTECH we are excited to be encouraged…

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Building Kids Dreams: From Maker Space to Play Space

GTECH’s Green Playces initiative closes the gap between the lack of environmental education and access to safe, vibrant green spaces for youth who live in close proximity to blighted, vacant land by transforming vacant lots into meaningful outdoor making and learning spaces for STEM education and eco-literacy curriculum (see Green Playces in action). We do this by transforming vacant lots in close proximity to youth facilities into kid-designed green spaces. The sites include outdoor classrooms, outdoor kitchens, or play spaces incorporating…

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Professional Conferences Are Worth More Than The Networking!

GTECH has attended the ReClaiming Vacant Properties conference for the past three years, but this is my first opportunity to go. This got me thinking. Professional conferences can be daunting, especially if you are traveling alone. However, there are many benefits to pursuing these experiences even if they push you out of your comfort zone. Along with expanding your knowledge base, professional network, and professional resources, conferences can offer a so many more (and less spoken about) benefits! Benefit #1…

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Two Wheels Lots of Green Recap

Thank You! You Keep Us Rolling. Thank you to everyone who joined us on the bike tour or attended our pop-up community party at the Garden on Gearing for Two Wheels Lots of Green. THE RESULTS With your help we raised over $12,000 for our vacant land projects. We couldn’t have done it without you! Check out what riders had to say during the event. Tweets about 2wlog16

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Gardening with Friends

Last week we wrapped up a three session “gardening club” we facilitated with The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh. The Friendship Circle is based in Squirrel Hill and works to unite children and young adults who have special needs with teen volunteers to grow and build friendships and enrich the lives of all who participate. Our COO, Evaine, had worked on the design for Friendship Circle’s new rooftop, and once it was completed they reached out to us to see if…

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Hilltop Green Playce Bonus: Stormwater Management

The Hilltop Green Playce is located along Warrington Ave. in Allentown's business district. Tucked between 2 buildings and below a parking lot, the lot is part asphalt and part hillside. The site receives a significant amount of stormwater runoff from the adjacent impervious surfaces in this highly urbanized watershed. Thanks to a grant received from the Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD), we have been able to install stormwater best management practices (BMPs) in order to improve site conditions, provide educational opportunities, and…

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Intern Goodbye!

This post was written by our Alcoa Foundation summer interns on their last day. We're so lucky to have had them this summer! Yes, there were casualties -- we regret to report that paint got on kids’ shoes, shirts, and shorts. Other than those few incidents (which the kids probably view not as incidents, but as moments of sheer joy), "Learn, Climb, and Grow in Wilkinsburg" at the Green Playce at the Hosanna House went very well. In some ways…

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Kicking Off in Clairton

This fall, 12 new Ambassadors will begin the process of reclaiming a vacant space in the City of Clairton, PA. We couldn't be more excited to be working with residents and leaders in Clairton as we begin the journey of addressing issues of vacancy and blight. ReClaim Clairton, with support from the Jefferson Regional Foundation and partners like Economic Development South and the Steel Valley Council of Governments, is shaping up to be huge success already. While we officially launched…

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The 5 types of bikers who should check out Two Wheels Lots of Green

1. The Explorer Maybe we’re biased, but exploring Pittsburgh by bike is the best and most fun way to see the city. If you agree, this ride is for you!  This year’s guided bike tour features unique greenspaces, including gardens, games, colorful trailheads, outdoor classrooms designed by youth, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and an historic incline site turned into a greenway, and more. Whether you know South Pittsburgh well, or have had little interaction with the neighborhood, we’re confident you’ll…

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Drake Can’t Do This…But You Can

This post was written by Max, one of our summer interns! Stay tuned for more updates about his experience. To contact Max, email him at interns@gtechstrategies.org with “Max” in the subject line.   When the deeply emotional rapping (and singing) sensation Drake was intensely contemplating whether to include Pittsburgh in his Summer Sixteen tour, he asked ONE question. “Would I be able to view the reclamation efforts in Pittsburgh that turn vacant lots into community assets such as gardens, parklets,…

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