ReClaim Clairton Ambassadors ‘17

Grounded (formerly known as GTECH) initiated ReClaim Clairton after working with Clairton residents to survey the city’s 1,300 vacant lots. Through this investigation, Grounded learned that Clairton residents have a need for more outdoor community spaces and have many vacant lots in need of some love. Municipal officials have been working to reduce the number of vacant properties and ReClaim Clairton has worked to further this goal. Vacant lots are a wasted resource if left to become overgrown with weeds and strewn with litter. However, if we imagine what could be, we see neighbors working together to create flower gardens, gathering spaces, trails, and food gardens.

In the fall of 2016, Grounded recruited a dozen Clairton residents, called Ambassadors, to lead the movement for reclaiming vacant lots. For eight months, the Ambassadors participated in classes and workshops to learn about the process of reclaiming vacant land. Throughout the classes, the Ambassadors designed their own vacant lot projects and rallied their communities to bring the projects to life. In the spring of 2017, the Ambassadors began work on vacant lots around Clairton.

By transitioning forgotten spaces into vibrant community assets, ReClaim Clairton equipped residents to put their own ideas into action and helped to fuel an ongoing revitalization process. In total, 8 vacant lot projects were implemented across the city. These projects included a community garden, play yards, playground enhancements, beautification gardens, a gateway garden, and a community gathering place. Read more about each Ambassador project below.