Blog

Blog

In the Hilltop Community – Vacant Lots Come to Life

Last Wednesday, the ReClaim South Ambassadors shared their designs for the transformation of 10 vacant lots in the Hilltop neighborhoods with friends, family, local organizations and government officials at the Hardware Store in Allentown. "I came into this program to do good work in my community." Melanie, ReClaim South Ambassador: Mt. Washington   There designs included everything from community gardens to a life-sized checkerboard, from little libraries at bus stops to one big garden for the Knoxville Library. "It is…

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Smart(er) Days: Things get real

So...everybody and their grandmother seems to ride a bike in Amsterdam.  No joke.  There are close 800,000 residents of Amsterdam and over 900,000 bikes.  More bikes than humans...that is how this place rolls!  Literally. Not only are there a lot of individuals in physical - self propelled movement, but also there are surging levels of energy from the entrepreneurs and start-up community focusing on sustainability, climate resiliency, renewable energy, smart energy and systems design and behavior change. To put this in…

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GTECHer Spotlight: Brian Verdi

Get to know...Brian Verdi [one_half] [/one_half] [one_half_last] Role at GTECH: Research Intern for Knots on Lots Hometown: Pittsburgh Alma Mater: Washington and Jefferson College - Cell/Molecular Biology Current Education Endeavor: part-time Duquesne University student in the Environmental Science and Management Master's Program Favorite Burrito Topping: Guacamole [/one_half_last] I started volunteering with GTECH because of the many outstanding projects they help accomplish in Pittsburgh. I plan to provide whatever assistance I can to help this organization continues to enhance and strengthen the…

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Smart(er) Days: Climate Change – Taking it to the Streets.

 Day 2: Amsterdam & The German Marshall Fund Fun Fact:  Amsterdam has a land mass of 64 square miles and around 800,000 people live here.  Pittsburgh is around 55 square miles with around 310,000 people. (20% of Amsterdam’s  Municipality is water - 4 % of Pittsburgh).  Take away:  3x more people live a place the same size as Pittsburgh!  (we like math.)  *As a result, density, alternative transportation, intentional green space, smart policy and a thriving urban landscape is prolific. Amsterdam has focused around…

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Building Art from Trash in Homewood.

It was a cloudy, drizzly, predawn Sunday morning when the ReClaim team arrived on a vacant parcel located on the corner of Frankstown Avenue and North Lang,which adjoins the Marathon route. While nearly 30,000 individuals lined up Downtown to start their 26.2 mile trek to the finish line, we prepared for a marathon of reuse - using found, donated, and recycled materials from Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse and the streets of Homewood to build a collage with the neighborhood of Homewood.…

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Smart(er) Days in Amsterdam: Day 1.0

...building community awareness and climate literacy feels like a constant practice that transcends nationalities. - Andrew Butcher Thanks to the German Marshall Fund, I find myself amidst the city of canals, bustling bikeways, and light rail in the land of windmills and wooden clogs. The goal is to evaluate Amsterdam's and the Netherlands' sustainable energy, climate policy and smart city goals* with a delegation from Charlotte, North Carolina; Torino, Italy; and, of course, Pittsburgh.  My partner from The Burgh is none…

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Pittsburgh Day of Giving 2014

This year The Pittsburgh Foundation switched up the invariably fall giving campaign to this spring - May 6, 2014. Even though it hasn't been a full year we've been up to a thing or two: Trained 10 new Ambassadors in the Hilltop neighborhoods, who together will be turning 12 vacant lots into productive green spaces, including a life-sized checker's board Recycled 741 gallons of waste cooking oil used community-based Lenten Fish Frys Launched a brand new project, where GTECH is giving…

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Knotweed: The Invasive Species

Just like human communities, ecosystems are stronger when they are more diverse. Invasive plants are those that threaten the diversity of an ecosystem by upping competition for habitat and making life more difficult for other species.  So, you may be wondering, "What's your point, and how does it relate to GTECH?". Enter Pittsburgh's vacant lots - all 27,000 of them. Vacant lots are an ideal habitat for invasive plants. When a house is demolished, the soil where that house sat lays…

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3 Tips for Navigating the Pittsburgh Public Art Commission Process

Today three of our ReClaim South Ambassadors stood in front of the City of Pittsburgh's Art Commission Board to present their neighborhood projects for approval. We want to share with you a few tips on navigating the civic process to get your vacant land idea supported by the city. Start Early! For the ReClaim South Ambassadors, they started filling out the applications a few months ago. It isn't a simple process; you must provide a letter of intent, seek letters…

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GTECHer Spotlight: Bethany Bloise

Get to know...Bethany Bloise [one_half] [/one_half] [one_half_last] Role at GTECH: Marketing and Communications Intern (for a few more hours) New Job: Community Outreach Specialist at the Mon Valley Initiative Hometown: Pittsburgh Alma Mater: West Virginia University Favorite Animal: Groundhog (see picture for proof) Favorite Burrito Topping: Refried Beans [/one_half_last] What I love about GTECH's approach to finding solutions to issues in the community is that they do it by empowering the community members to step up and take action themselves.…

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Gravity

Today, GTECH turns 7. When you think about it, "growth" as a physical phenomenon is not really in our favor. As individual humans, there is an entire atmosphere of stuff (that's a technical term) that weighs down upon us. Not to mention lurking hungry bears - who tire of nuts and berries -  ready to pounce out of the shadows.  No wonder there is such joy in watching our offspring defy the odds of survival and manage to prosper and…

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