Blog

Blog

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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LandCare Women Making a Difference in Hazelwood

Strengthening communities through vacant lot maintenance Have you ever wondered who maintains all of the vacant lots in Pittsburgh? With over 27,000 vacant lots in just the city alone, it takes a coordinated effort to care for this vast amount of vacant land. The City of Pittsburgh owns approximately 26% of Pittsburgh’s vacant lots and the URA owns another 5.2%, or around 1,400 vacant lots. If you haven’t really noticed a vacant lot in your community, chances are that it…

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Gavin Gets Repotted

GTECH people are good dirt (and I mean that as the highest of compliments). As Plato put it: “People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” If people are like dirt, then GTECH people are rich, organic soil. Without artificial ingredients, and no matter the precise composition, they manage to offer just the right balance of nutrients, moisture and support throughout…

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Grab a seat at the roundtable.

What are the building blocks of community change? Peter Block argues that the answer is small-scale, informal, and personal resident engagement: the roundtable. The Grounded Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Liaisons have been putting this idea to the test while reading Block's work Community: The Structure of Belonging. Each month, we meet to discuss project activities as well as to take part in a group discussion about the best ways to increase resident involvement and buy-in, essential ingredients for community health and sustainability. Last month,…

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Black History. American History. History.

Grounder Rebecca Mizikar recently sat down with three former residents of Lincoln Way in Clairton to understand the vibrant black community that thrived there. Before the bulldozers demolished the last of the vacant houses along the dead-end street, before the city and developers started to talk about new visions for this blank slate of land at the edge of the town, before the Bigfoot and alien legends came to explain the decline and vacancy of an entire street, Lincoln Way…

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Investing in People

Engaging community members in our programs is essential to Grounded Strategies.  Doing so gives residents of communities across Allegheny County an active hand in addressing vacant land challenges and improving their neighborhood. Grounded provides training, equips residents, and gives them tools to transform community greenspace into thriving spaces for everyone to enjoy. This improves the residents' sense of pride in their communities and in the work that they have accomplished. It would be simple for nonprofit organizations to recruit volunteers from…

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Featured Partner: Pitt Engineers without Borders

For this month’s Featured Partner, we are highlighting a new and exciting partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Engineers Without Borders chapter. We could not be more excited to work with them as they contribute their engineering skills toward our fight to transform vacant and under-loved land throughout Allegheny County. For our first project together, we challenged them to design and build a water collection cistern as part of our Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GTECH GSI) project in Observatory Hill. Tucked…

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We’re Back! ReClaim Clairton 2.0 is Almost Here!

Gearing up for ReClaim Clairton 2.0 It is hard to believe that the first year of our ReClaim Clairton Ambassador program has come to a close. We are so excited and proud of the accomplishments that our Ambassadors have achieved over the past 12 months. ReClaim Clairton 2016 - 2017 The ReClaim Ambassador model builds the knowledge and capacity of residents to design, organize and lead vacant lot revitalization efforts. The 2016-2017 Clairton ReClaim Ambassador Program has engaged, equipped, and…

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Returning to Sustainable Return on Investment

This blog post was authored by GTECH's Research & Policy Intern, Lilli Kashef Hamadani. Email Lilli at l.kashef@gtechstrategies.org.  Returning to Sustainable Return on Investment Measuring the Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of the URA LandCare Program GTECH has been working on evaluating its programs through a Sustainable Return on Investment (SuROI) methodology. You might remember when our intern, Kate, wrote about SuROI lingo and shared the results of GTECH's first SuROI analysis, which measured the social and ecological value of…

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stormwater survey pipe

Take a Survey! – Stormwater in the East End

Do you live in East Hills, East Liberty, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, or Homewood? If so, you can take our survey to help shape stormwater infrastructure efforts in your neighborhood. Click the button below to take the survey, or read on to learn more about the project first. Please take the 10 minute survey by clicking the button below. If you'd rather take a survey on paper, please contact us.  

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ReClaim Central Graduation

Last week the GTECH team gathered at the Hill House Blakey Program Center to celebrate the completion of the 2017 ReClaim Central Ambassador projects. The gathering served as a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the projects and to recognize the hard work of the 11 civically-minded Hill District residents who dedicated their time as ReClaim Central Ambassadors. Beginning last winter, the Ambassadors attended a series of six workshops and educational sessions. During these sessions, the Ambassadors completed designs for…

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Introducing Land Lab!

Spinning off from the successful city-wide Blight Bootcamp Conferences of the last two years in partnership with the Blight Working Group, GTECH is launching a series of Land Labs that will target the specific vacant land issues of a particular neighborhood. The first of the series will be hosted in Larimer! The first Land Lab is taking place on Saturday, November 4, in Larimer at St. James AME Church. The neighborhood is seeing significant development but is still dealing with high numbers of…

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