Blog

Blog

The gift of safe, vibrant and healthy green spaces

There are 27,000 vacant lots in the City of Pittsburgh. 45,000 vacant lots in Allegheny County.  What if instead we saw 45,000 community-designed gardens, parklets, and play spaces for youth. Imagine how the image, identity, and perceptions of blighted neighborhoods would change. - Andrew Butcher, CEO and Founder, GTECH Strategies GTECH Strategies works with people to transition land use liabilities into community assets and improve the economic, social, and environmental health of our communities. We firmly believe that good design,…

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Administrative Professionals Week!

Happy Administrative Professionals Week! Of course, we think you should celebrate them everyday, but still take a special moment this week to celebrate the Administrative Professionals that you know. Originally called National Secretaries Week, this celebration started in 1952, to recognize "the secretary, upon whose skills, loyalty, and efficiency the functions of which business and government depend." This week of celebration and thanks was originally a part of a movement to recognize the work of administrative staff, grow the field,…

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Educational Opportunities and Events Around Green Playces

Along with the flowers, trees, and shrubs, GTECH's projects start to bloom in the spring. Our staff members are stir-crazy from the long winter and our projects are starting to heat up! This year our Green Playces initiative has four sites to design and build out at the Hilltop, Wilkinsburg, McKeesport, and the Hill District. Along with building out the sites with the help of volunteers, GTECH is exploring how our partnerships can expand into additional events and educational opportunities. This past week we…

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Green Playces Curriculum

The Green Playces team has been working with our fantastic partners at Allegheny Partners for Out of School Time (APOST) to design a series of lesson plans that can be used at any of our Green Playces sites throughout Allegheny County. Covering topics from Native Plants to Repurposed Spaces to Stormwater, these lesson plans are custom-designed by a local teacher for our sites. Each lesson is designed to take place over an hour, and is ideal for middle-school aged kids.…

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Celebrating Homewood and the Pittsburgh Marathon

Last Thursday marked the kick off to the series of events in Homewood that celebrate the community and the Pittsburgh Marathon! Over 100 community members attended the Fuel Up community dinner. They enjoyed delicious food, fun games, and live music, making the event a great success! Residents and volunteers enjoying the Fuel Up Photo Booth! The room was filled with residents for the Fuel Up Dinner! We are now looking forward to the Redd Up community clean up event taking…

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Green Schools and Beyond

GTECH was able to attend the Green Schools Conference and Expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from March 31 through April 1. Some would ask, why is GTECH at a Green Schools Conference and how does it apply to their work to date? While we don't work in a school setting, our Green Playces Initiative hopes to work with educators and students to help explore our natural settings and think about local environmental issues. Eco-literacy and environmental justice are issues…

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Urban trails around the country inform Northside trail planning

Here at GTECH, we spend a lot of time thinking about how people relate to the places they live. That's why we're so excited to be working with One Northside to plan for a trail system that would connect all 18 neighborhoods in Pittsburgh's Northside. This project stemmed out of our work last year mapping and cataloguing over 1800 assets in the Northside and responds directly to One Northside's goal of improving the quality of spaces and places in the Northside.…

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Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy You

"America is built on the notion that we are our brothers' and our sisters' keepers, and that we all have certain obligations to one another. Never is that idea truer than when ensuring the health of the world our children will live in long after we are gone. This week, let us treat every child as if they are our own by accepting our responsibilities to leave them with a healthier, cleaner planet than we have, and let us continue…

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Community Benefit in Vacant Lot Maintenance

RSVP here! GTECH is partnering with UrbanKind Institute (Dr. Jamil Bey), Fourth Economy Consulting, Pitt’s University Center on Social Urban Research (UCSUR), A. Phillip Randolph Institute, City Source Associaties, KRJ Contracting, Landforce, the Hilltop Men’s Group, and YouthPlaces to help redesign the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) vacant land maintenance process. While the URA only owns less than 10% of the publicly owned vacant land in Pittsburgh, we want your input to help ensure more awareness, transparency, and ultimately community benefit. To begin…

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Gearing Up For Spring: An Interview with Ambassador Linda Piso

Next month, 7 projects in Hilltop neighborhoods will begin to see new life through ReClaim South: Sustaining Momentum. Enhancements planned over the next few months at Ambassadors' sites range from new gardening beds to community celebrations.  Before things get too crazy, we had a chance to sit down with Ambassador Linda Piso and talk about her plans for the 30/32 Grape Street Garden.   GTECH: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what motivates you to make a…

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Junior Green Corps’ Spring Training with GTECH

Operation Better Block's Junior Green Corps and GTECH are working together this Spring! This spring, we are kicking off a 4 part training program for the Junior Green Corps of Homewood.  The goal of these training sessions is to help the Junior Green Corps students understand the process of vacant land reclamation so they can share and practice such skills outside of the program. The bi-monthly educational sessions will extend from March through April and culminate in a final project on a vacant…

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5 Reasons to partner with ioby

Remember the acronym “NIMBY”? That’s how sociologists and cartoonists often characterize the visceral reaction that a proposed new development (airport, power plant, strip mall, etc.) will elicit among the residents of the surrounding community: “Not in my back yard!” ioby, which stands for "in our back yard", is all about empowering local projects that bring positive change to our communities (our collective “backyard”). Here are 5 reasons to why it made so much sense for GTECH and The Sprout Fund to partner…

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