Announcing, the PGH Mobile Toolbox!

  We have been working hard to prepare our latest resource for vacant lot cleaning and greening efforts. Introducing the PGH Mobile Toolbox, a tool library on wheels, ready for your next workday or cleanup! This resource is brought to you through our partnership with Neighborhood Allies and is intended to fill the resource gap between project inspiration and its implementation. Through our experience, we found no shortage of good ideas and residents who are motivated to execute them. However,…

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ioby

Have ideas, need funds? Meet ioby!

Do you have an idea for a community project but no funding to get it off the ground? We’d like to introduce you to ioby. It's an amazing organization dedicated to helping neighbors grow and implement great ideas one block at a time. ioby’s crowd-resourcing platform connects leaders with funding and support to make our neighborhoods safer, greener, more livable and more fun.  While ioby is a national organization, they recently opened a branch in Pittsburgh! We want to introduce you to one of…

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Welcome GSI Community Liaisons

How can the Pittsburgh region maximize community benefit associated with Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) investments? We just launched the GTECH GSI project in the Woods Run (O-27) sewershed which seeks to apply a methodology to do just this - engage residents in shaping land use decisions related to upcoming stormwater infrastructure investments, so that community benefit can be maximized. Our Foundation: Work Closely with the Community As part of this project, we're delighted to have the opportunity to work with 4 residents from the…

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Ambassador Alums in Action

Like clockwork, I get 6-8 emails every single day between noon and 12:05pm. I know what you’re thinking. My fan mail gets held and released only once a day. I’m pretty popular, what can I say? Actually, these emails don’t come from real people at all, but are automatically generated through Google Alerts. Most people know that at GTECH we have Ambassador cohorts—groups of community leaders in different parts of the city and county who come together for about a…

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5 Reasons to partner with ioby

Remember the acronym “NIMBY”? That’s how sociologists and cartoonists often characterize the visceral reaction that a proposed new development (airport, power plant, strip mall, etc.) will elicit among the residents of the surrounding community: “Not in my back yard!” ioby, which stands for "in our back yard", is all about empowering local projects that bring positive change to our communities (our collective “backyard”). Here are 5 reasons to why it made so much sense for GTECH and The Sprout Fund to partner…

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Words of Wisdom and Reflection from a GTECH Ambassador

With the holidays upon us, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment – whether it’s attending the endless holiday parties and family gatherings or running out to get a gift for that last impossible-to-buy-for person on your list – before we know it it’s January and we haven’t gotten a chance to relax and reflect on the past year. Here at GTECH we’re not immune. It’s been a mad dash to get everything finished before the holiday break,…

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Co-Designing with Hilltop Residents

Urban environments are continuously transitioning. As a result, the narrative of permanence in these areas is lost due to shrinkage caused by vacancy (Burkholder 2012). Vacancy is a huge problem facing U.S. cities that once relied heavily on the revenue from industrial production. The moniker "Rustbelt" is one that describes such cities spanning the upper Midwest and parts of some Northeastern states. Many of these cities struggle with turning the corner, and while some have successfully navigated the changing landscape, many continually work…

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ReClaim South 2.0: Sustaining Momentum

ReClaim South 2.0: Sustaining Momentum has officially kicked off the 2015 follow-up program to the original ReClaim South initiative. We are happy to welcome back many familiar faces and excited to introduce some new ones for this year's Ambassador cohort. Similar to the 2014 program, we began with an educational session; however, site maintenance and programming are the focus areas this year. We hope to work with the Ambassadors and their communities to build physical and programmatic enhancements to their existing…

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412Build cohort unveils Homewood-based projects, shares life lessons

A mere five weeks ago, local high school students began the 412 Build program – a unique internship that fuses elements of STEAM education, entrepreneurialism, play and community development. On Friday, these proud students unveiled their built additions and shared their personal takeaways. In partnership with the Homewood Bible Center the youth engaged the community, designed kid-centric elements to enhance the Homewood-based playground. Features designed, built and installed by the 412Build cohort   The evening kicked off with a passionate Homewood resident taking the…

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It’s a Family Affair! Northside Ambassador and Family ReClaim Vacant Lot

ReClaiming vacant land is tough work. This is a job for the whole family! A Place for Moms: Welcome Corner is becoming more beautiful by the day. Cynthia Mendoza, a ReClaim Ambassador and resident of Observatory Hill, has overwhelming support for her project (Just check out her feature in Next Pittsburgh from last month). Whether it is grateful neighbors giving kind words as they drive by, volunteers showing up for workdays or donors contributing to her crowdfunding campaign, the Welcome Corner has…

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Meet Hank – The ReClaim McKeesport Superhero

Meet Hank. He is McKeesport's resident superhero. His superpower - helping fight blight alongside his neighbors. Here he is, taking a well deserved rest after a long evening of work on Shari's site. I met Hank for the first time last September at the McKeesport Dunkin Donuts. He came in for a quick interview and talked about his vision for a vacant lot near his home – a little park, in memory of his wife, with a volleyball court for his…

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Community Leaders in McKeesport talk the future of youth

On Tuesday night at the Twin Rivers Intermediate School in McKeesport, GTECH hosted a panel discussion about engaging youth in McKeesport.   The panel of local leaders who discussed youth engagement as part of the event included the following: Nikita Zook, Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time partnership coordinator Brie Adams, McKeesport Area School District coordinator of educational opportunities Austin Davis, executive assistant to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald Keino Fitzpatrick, Youth CAST — Community and Schools Together — developer Laura Bosnak-Thompson,…

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