Community Keystones

Blog by Sean Cuff, Policy Fellow In early August, I interviewed CommunityCare Steward and long-time Larimer resident Tab Duckett outside his adopted lots near Thompson and Joseph Streets. He and his lawnmower have been fixtures of the community, and represent the outsized role neighbors have had to take on to keep their blocks maintained. He was born and raised in the neighborhood. In between at least ten horn honks, waves, and “hey there’s” with passersby, we talked about how the…

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Work Day @ Morning Star Baptist Church-Hazelwood!

Come join the Grounded team as we work alongside TMC-Pittsburgh's Hazelwood Platoon to finalize our year-long effort at The Morning Star Baptist Church! We will be completing the revitalization of the once-vacant lot next to the church before the weather gets too cold. Our goal is to do some planting, complete the youth activity area, and remove any trash and refuse from inside and outside of the church. Please come dressed in clothes you would not mind getting dirty! All…

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Allegheny Mountains Lot Refresh

Join us for a workday in the Northside at Allegheny Mountains Lot at the intersection of California Avenue and Benton Avenue! This lot was damaged and needs repair so we are asking for volunteers to join us in restoring it to its former glory. As a part of the Grounded Strategies team, we will be getting our hands dirty with weeding, mulching, and general site refresh. Come ready to work in warm or cool weather. To sign up, please email…

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Free NorthSide Land Lab

Come to the Free Northside Land Lab Hosted at the Colab 18 for a great time! We will dine and have a discussion around advocacy, participatory budgets, and forming peoples assemblies. If you have an idea or a suggestion for your local councilman and women in regards to the "Vacant Land Epidemic" Please RSVP to attend the sessions 412-361-2099.

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The Bigger Picture

A lot has been said and studied about the economics of vacant land and there is certainly more to say and study.  When it comes to the economics of vacant land, it is best described as a negative externality, which if remains unmaintained creates a substantial social cost to its surroundings. There are obvious financial damages to our local institutions and subsequently the public as consumers of those public services.  And there are far less measurable, but obvious impacts on…

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Pitt 1st Years are Grounded in Homewood

As part of their orientation process at the start of the fall semester, first years at Pitt joined Grounded in Homewood for a day of service. We worked together on a litter cleanup, while engaging in thought provoking discussions about the ties between refuse, home abandonment, poverty, and access to green space.     Our litter cleanup also served as a walking tour of the neighborhood, to show areas where Grounded has already built a presence, as well as areas…

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LandCare Women Making a Difference in Hazelwood

Strengthening communities through vacant lot maintenance Have you ever wondered who maintains all of the vacant lots in Pittsburgh? With over 27,000 vacant lots in just the city alone, it takes a coordinated effort to care for this vast amount of vacant land. The City of Pittsburgh owns approximately 26% of Pittsburgh’s vacant lots and the URA owns another 5.2%, or around 1,400 vacant lots. If you haven’t really noticed a vacant lot in your community, chances are that it…

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