ReClaim South Update: What to look forward to this spring!

Since last fall, our ReClaim South Ambassadors have been working hard planning their vacant lot project enhancements. A lot of good things are happening in South Pittsburgh and we are excited to help add capacity to 8 projects this year!

To date, the Ambassadors have completed 5 training sessions for the Sustaining Momentum Program, and with only 2 more to go, on the ground implementation is quickly approaching.

Here is a breakdown of what we have covered thus far in our training session:

  1. Welcome Back!: Introducing the McKinley Park, Haberman Corridor and Hilltop Farm plans. Our guest speaker was Aaron Sukenik the Executive Director of The Hilltop Alliance. It was a motivational session, showing the Ambassadors two groundbreaking projects coming up in South Pittsburgh.
  2. Site Enhancements and Ideas: For this session we discussed challenges and barriers of the current vacant lot projects and brainstormed ways to address them. Erin Tobin the Community Outreach Coordinator from the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, presented their involvement in South Pittsburgh.
  3. Sustainability and Maintenance:  During this session, we revisited the Ambassadors’ site maintenance plans and refined them based on their proposed site enhancements. Dimeji Onafuwa, a GTECH fellow, presented his graduate research and discussed how to measure empowerment, social capitol, and community. Check out Dimeji’s blog to learn more about the process.
  4. Assembling Grant Proposals: This session announced the Ambassadors’ eligibility for GTECH’s ReClaim South Opportunity Fund and walked through the process of submitting the grant proposal. These funds will help support their enhancement projects this year!
  5. Proposal Presentations: The Ambassadors presented their final grant application and enhancement plans for this coming growing season. During this session, Shad Henderson, a GTECH board member and program manager for Neighborhood Allies, presented to the group on funding opportunities and programs.

Upcoming Sessions will include planning out the spring and summer workdays for implementing project enhancements and reaching out to neighbors for support, engagement and input.

Interested in working on a project near you? Check out this map of Sustaining Momentum projects and view their planned upgrades by clicking on the numbered icon. Send us a volunteering inquiry and we will notify you when workdays are scheduled. Projects range from community food gardens, trail heads, outdoor game spaces, and perennial flower beds,  so we will have volunteer opportunities for all levels of experience and interest. Come get involved with the ReClaim South Sustaining Momentum Initiative!

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