McKeesport to get overhaul via 9 beautification projects

Nine McKeesport lots will get an overhaul under a Pittsburgh-based program that officials hope will “begin a conversation about what else can happen here.” That's according to project manager James Snow of GTECH — or Growth Through Energy and Community Health — a community development nonprofit. GTECH Strategies provided $3,000 stipends obtained from the Benedum Foundation to nine ambassadors overseeing beautification projects from McKees Point to Penn State Greater Allegheny and the Reservoir area of the Seventh Ward.

Challenge brings high school students together at Pitt to discuss water problems

About 60 students from four local high schools collaborated in a two-day session this month at the University of Pittsburgh to come up with ideas and create awareness for what has become a global water crisis. Students from Mt. Lebanon, Chartiers Valley, McKeesport Area and Elizabeth Forward took part in the Water Design Challenge, held March 11-12 in the William Pitt Student Union.

Pittsburgh Business Ethics Awards honors outstanding efforts

On February 26, 2015, GTECH Strategies became the first nonprofit ever to receive the Pittsburgh Business Ethics Award in the small business category. Hosted by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Society of Financial Professionals, the 14th annual luncheon event attracted 210 people Downtown at the Omni William Penn Hotel.

McKeesport school, community leaders gather for networking event

McKeesport area families and officials worked toward improving opportunities for youth by networking with community and human service organizations Tuesday evening. McKeesport Area School District, the city and ReClaim McKeesport — a project of GTECH Strategies — were partners in the gathering at Twin Rivers Intermediate School.

Pittsburgh joins ‘resilient’ city roster

Pittsburgh joined the foundation’s “100 Resilient Cities” initiative, a $100 million program to help cities thrive amid rising uncertainty.

Summit brings neighborhoods together to celebrate successes

The third annual Hilltop Summit brought together nearly 100 representatives of Pittsburgh's Hilltop communities along with guests and elected officials to hear what has been happening in the neighborhoods over the past year.

McKeesport groups reach out with holiday meals

McKeesport's religious and volunteer communities reached out to the city's less fortunate over the weekend, serving holiday lunches and dinners in advance of Thanksgiving. People gathered at ACTION-Housing's McKeesport Downtown Housing facility, Bethlehem Baptist Church, the Salvation Army and Creative Ministries on Saturday and Sunday to share fellowship and home-cooked meals. They came together in thanks as they enjoyed turkey dinners with stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams and sautéed green beans.

Old incline site becomes South Side Slopes park

On her daily walk, Cara Jette takes public steps that connect Welsh Way, near her home in Allentown, to Brosville Street in the South Side Slopes. At the end of the ascent, she crosses a footbridge to get through what used to be a lumpy, weedy, trash-strewn lot that ended with graffiti-covered jersey barriers at the sidewalk.

ReClaim McKeesport ambassadors transform vacant lot

With a Habitat for Humanity construction project on hold, ambassadors in the ReClaim McKeesport initiative are making the most of a Lemon Street lot. GTECH Strategies advisers, who are in McKeesport to take on their first beautification project outside of Pittsburgh this year, guided a handful of McKeesport's newly selected ambassadors through their first project Saturday. “This was a demonstration project to show our new community leaders some of the projects they can do next spring,” GTECH Strategies project manager…

GTECH: Why We’re Working in McKeesport

This fall, 10 McKeesport residents have the opportunity to clean and green vacant lots in their neighborhood. This is GTECH Strategies' first vacant land Ambassador program outside of the City of Pittsburgh. Why did we choose to work with the City of McKeesport to create new community green spaces?

North Side’s vacant parcels surveyed

When three North Siders began counting vacant lots in the area’s 19 neighborhoods last spring, they used the city’s designations to define them and, with help from a nonprofit that focuses on green redevelopment, came up with 5,399. But numbers can mislead: 38 percent of the total is woods; 11 percent comprises side yards people use, legally or not. That takes care of about 50 percent of the North Side’s vacancy. What is left are gardens, little parks and parking…

Local Group Reclaims Vacant Land Through Micro-Grants and Education

Six months ago, the vacant lot next door to Linda Piso’s house in Knoxville was overgrown with weeds and was a haven for drug activity. But Piso has since transformed the lot into a community garden. “Right now I’m picking cucumbers,” Piso said on Saturday. “My garden is completely planted. I have lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, and soon I’ll have a watermelon.” With the help of nonprofit GTECH Strategies, Piso planted the garden, created a group gathering area, and…