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…

Runners’ mural to showcase Homewood during marathon

Long after the bands, cheerleaders and crowds disperse from neighborhood celebrations during the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, Homewood will have made a more lasting tribute. A work of public art, made in part from trash that will be collected before the marathon, will be created during the May 4 race -- between mile 17 and 18 -- in a city-owned lot at North Lang and Frankstown avenues. It will be a mural collage depicting three runners symbolically. Officials from…

Five standout ways Pittsburgh groups are advancing communities

Majora Carter, known internationally as the woman who "greened the ghetto" in New York City, was in Pittsburgh for the Inspire Speakers Series, a program presented by the Green Building Alliance and Phipps Conservancy and Botanical Gardens. Carter's rapid rise to fame grew out of her stalwart determination to turn around her Hunts Point neighborhood in the South Bronx, a community wallowing in urban blight, pollution and crime.