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Opening Green Playces: McKeesport

  Last week in partnership with Trinity Church of God in Christ and Youth CAST, we successfully opened our fourth Green Playce! Every Green Playce is unique, and Green Playces: McKeesport in no exception.  The City of McKeesport has a rich history and our Green Playces Team wanted to honor the tradition of ingenuity as well as the connection to steel.  According to Tube City Online, "In 1872, the National Tube Works Company was founded to make steel and iron pipes…

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Welcome Tom! An Interview with GTECH’s Newest PULSE Fellow

This month, the GTECH family gained another member. We are proud to welcome Tom Mulholland to the GTECH team. Tom is a participant in PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) an organization that places talented university graduates with partners at Pittsburgh nonprofits in order to develop the next generation of servant leaders in our city. Between conducting outreach for the Blight Bootcamp Conference and revamping the Lots to Love website, Tom has been pretty busy in his first few weeks. Luckily, we were able to…

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The Elephant in the Room

This post has been authored by Tacumba Turner, GTECH's newest Project Coordinator!  Remembering the Reclaiming Vacant  Properties Conference : “The Elephant in the room” By Tacumba Turner During the three day Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference I got the chance to observe an array of innovative strategies that have been implemented in recent years across the country. In reflecting on what was my first time attending the conference, there was one break-out session in particular that resonated with me. The topic was…

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“Growth” v. Growth – Remembering the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, 2016

GTECH stands for Growth Through Energy and Community Health.  It goes without saying that we think growth is important.  But we should clarify what we mean by growth, because not all growth is positive.  In fact, when growth becomes synonymous with success and excludes other metrics, it can be downright detrimental.  At the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference (Baltimore, September 28-30), Congressman Dan Kildee referred to this phenomenon by insisting that we live in “a culture based entirely on the conflation…

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What’s in a name?

This blog was authored by GTECH Project Associate Kate Hancock. Email Kate at k.hancock@gtechstrategies.org.   The basics of SuROI Sustainable Return On Investment social + environmental = SuROI You may be familiar with the term “ROI” or “return on investment” (a measure of the amount of return on an investment relative to the investment’s cost) but have you heard of SuROI? Sustainable return on investment, or SuROI for short, measures -- you got it -- the sustainable return on an investment.…

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Build places people will love

Kaid Benfield, author of the new book, People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities, and one of the the "most influential people in sustainable planning and development" (Partnership for Sustainable Communities), came to Pittsburgh to tell us about  ways that we can make cities healthier. Here are 4 of my favorites: It's not just about 'cities' Kaid stressed the importance of thinking bigger - and smaller - than cities. Regions are the way we live. Neighborhoods are where we encounter our environment…

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Blight Bootcamp T-Shirt Raffle

  Blight is like a bad, stinking and torn t-shirt. It’s a pain to look at. It costs you in money and close social relationships, as well as attracting unwanted trouble. But, while blight takes the right knowledge, resources, attitude and ability to combat, replacing that shirt is easy! All you need to do is register now for our Blight Bootcamp Conference, taking place in Hazelwood on October 7-8th, and you will be entered into a raffle for a free…

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Opening Green Playces: Hilltop

Last week in partnership with The Brashear Association's Allentown Learning and Engagement Center, we successfully opened our third Green Playce! Every Green Playce is unique, and Green Playces: Hilltop is no exception. Nestled between two buildings, the site included a strip of pavement and a overgrown sloped hillside. We started to help design the Playce about six months ago, based on the input from the kids in ALEC's after school program. Their ideas for the space included pizza shops, roller coasters, and…

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10 Years & 10 Reasons for 10 Gallons of Apples

Got Apples? We need 'em! We need help from you - our amazing GTECH community! As we approach our 10 year anniversary, we are busy planning how to expand the reach and impact of our programming, continue to work with communities across Allegheny County to shape how land is used for shared benefit, and of course celebrate this important milestone. But also, for our 10 year celebration, A Few Bad Apples has offered to create a special anniversary edition GTECH cider  ----…

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What Fun We Had!

GTECH's 2016 Fall Fundraiser was a success! Thanks to all who attended Entrepreneurial Spirits 2016 on September 17th. We had a phenomenal time - and hope you did too. We shared highlights from our 2016 programming - including Green Playces, Lots to Love, and ReClaim Ambassadors. We highlighted some awesome work being done by our friends and partners - Barley & Bines, Grassroots Green Homes, and the URA LandCare Program We learned about some innovative, delicious endeavors - A Few…

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4 Steps to Get your Garden Ready for Fall!

As much as we don't want to admit it, summer is coming to a close. But, that does not mean that you gardening needs to come to a screeching halt, there is still plenty to do before winter arrives! Whether you fancy flowers, vegetables, or both, the principles are the same! Below, I have outlined some important fall tasks to ensure that you garden doesn't stop when summer ends. If you haven't already, start a compost pile! There are many benefits…

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Help Wanted: Must Have Gumption

Edward Abbey wrote that “Language makes a mighty loose net with which to go fishing.”  Well, I believe we are all in the business of fishing - for that reason “gumption” is perhaps the closest thing to a verbal harpoon that I can think of when describing the qualities I aspire for and consider necessary for effective leadership. After 10 years of start-up, organizational growth, and evolution filled with countless moments of inspiration, joy, and gratitude, I am proud to…

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