Blog

Blog

Green Space Really Does Improve Mental Health

A new study published in July is one of the first substantial pieces of research that directly links "greening" vacant and blighted lots to improved mental health and reduced depressive symptoms. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 16 million adults in the United States - 6.7% of the population - reported having at least one major depressive episode in the past year. While we at Grounded Strategies understand the the positive connections between "greening" vacant lots…

Read More

Greenspaces Foster Resilience and Combat Climate Change

Grounded Strategies is committed to the sustainable development of greenspaces in Pittsburgh neighborhoods. With the input and help of community partners and members, we work hard to ensure that our projects are community-led and foster neighborhood coalition. We believe that greenspaces foster community resilience by facilitating the strengthening of social connections, reducing stress, restoring cognition, and being physically active. Not only do greenspaces benefit individuals and the community, they also benefit the environment and, according to writer Jared Green, act…

Read More

Making Authentic Nature a Priority

It can be hard to find refuge in nature when you are living in an urban environment. According to the United Nations, over half of all the world’s population (55%) lives in urban areas, a statistic that is expected to rise to 68% by 2050. As the world continues to urbanize, it is more important than ever to design sustainable and intentionally authentic greenspaces that invite active involvement in one’s natural amenities. This is especially true for children. A recent…

Read More

Incorporating the Natural Landscape in Greenspace Design

Incorporating the natural landscape into the design of a project is a key element for us here at Grounded Strategies. A popular trend in natural landscape design that has evolved over the past decade is to adapt the slope of an existing hill or embankment into a surface intended for a slide. Author Jeff Link outlines the benefits of integrating the natural environment into a landscape design in his article Hill and Embankment Slides Mark a Golden Age for Playground Slides.…

Read More

Attention to Detail

The quality of your environment is one of the greatest and most overlooked sources of happiness. CommunityCare stewards carry around butter knives so that they can clean the cracks in the sidewalks. LandCare contractors compare techniques because they take pride in their work. These examples illustrate the importance of community members playing a central role in greening their communities. When residents are the actors, greenspace maintenance takes on new meaning. It's not just about getting a job done, it's about making…

Read More

Grounded in East Hills

As part of our investigative process, Grounded Strategies is exploring East Hills for further intervention. Having recently installed rain gardens in the Park Hill Drive Community, we're now working with the East Hills Consensus Group (EHCG) to help them advocate for improvements in the entire East Hills neighborhood. The main focus points for EHCG in terms of community strategy are Stormwater, Public Safety, and Community Beautification.     During our tour of the neighborhood, it became apparent just how important…

Read More

Pitt 1st Years are Grounded in Homewood

As part of their orientation process at the start of the fall semester, first years at Pitt joined Grounded in Homewood for a day of service. We worked together on a litter cleanup, while engaging in thought provoking discussions about the ties between refuse, home abandonment, poverty, and access to green space.                 Our litter cleanup also served as a walking tour of the neighborhood, to show areas where Grounded has already built…

Read More

Sweet Serenade

My time at Grounded strategies happened purely by chance and man was it a stroke of good luck. I heard of Grounded from a Facebook advertisement after I had recently expressed interest in wanting to work on community gardens. The event was called a “Land Lab”: in which they go to different neighborhoods they want to invest in and give neighbors and stakeholders details of all the programs/resources they have to offer. After an hour of questions, jokes and heartfelt…

Read More

See You Later!

I’ve been putting off writing this blog post because I’m sort of in denial that my time here at Grounded has come to an end. I started here last year at the very beginning of my grad program in Social Work and Public Administration at Pitt (seriously, I started before orientation because I just couldn’t wait). I really was not sure what I was getting myself into, but thought it would be fun. A year later and it has turned…

Read More

Arianna makes her mark on Grounded

During my time as in intern at Grounded Strategies, I had the opportunity to meet the amazing people that work to make Pittsburgh a better place.  I started out not knowing much about green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and most of what was going on in the office went over my head. But after some time, I started learning a lot about Pittsburgh’s stormwater management issues and exactly what Grounded was doing to help.  While I was there, I got to…

Read More

Following a rain drop at Park Hill Drive

Grounded continues its Green Stormwater Infrastructure work in the Park Hill Drive community in East Hills. Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) design and implementation are just one of the services we offer here at Grounded Strategies. As we plan each such project, we consider the fate of rainwater as it encounters the built environment. Let's follow a raindrop through one of our GSI facilities in the Park Hill Drive community! The first thing that a raindrop is likely to encounter in…

Read More

Katherine’s Internship Experience at Grounded

My name is Katherine and I am an incoming junior Environmental Engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh. This week concludes my six-week internship at Grounded Strategies. I have enjoyed spending the past six weeks contributing in various ways ranging from working on online research to designing and building a “Gnome Home”. This internship has provided me with a wide variety of learning and career development opportunities. As I performed research for Grounded’s Gnome Messaging Project, I had the opportunity…

Read More