Volunteer Day with FedEx Ground

On Friday, June 2, we kicked off our second demonstration project for the GTECH Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GTECH GSI) initiative in the high-priority O-27 sewershed. The goal of the demonstration projects for GTECH GSI is to capture stormwater before it reaches our overworked combined sewer system, while also providing a welcoming green space that meets community needs. For this particular project, we are partnering with Riverview Manor, a senior living facility in the Brighton Heights neighborhood of the Northside. The…

Read More

Roots of Steel

Last Friday, we kicked off a new phase of our ReClaim Clairton Ambassador program, project implementation. Just as in past Ambassador programs, each participant receives access to a $3,000 micro-fund to assist in the implementation of a greenspace project they have spent the last 8 months creating with support from their neighbors, friends, and communities. Leading the pack was Sue Viglioti, who was motivated to participate in the ReClaim Clairton program by the love of her home town and the people…

Read More

Part 1: Looking Back at GTECH’s First 10 Years

Some highlights from GTECH’s first 10 years, from the Swiss Cheese Memory of Co-Founder and CEO Andrew Butcher Part 1: Looking Back  In reflecting upon all of the glory, trials and tribulations, humor, and defining moments of the last 10 years I am awash with memories and nostalgia.  The following is a series of brief snapshots of some unique moments worthy of sharing as we begin to celebrate ten years of Growth Through Energy + Community Health.   I’ll never…

Read More

GTECH Has A New Executive!

I am tremendously proud to announce that the GTECH Board of Directors has unanimously selected Evaine K. Sing to be GTECH's next leader.  Cue the balloon drop! As GTECH's current (award winning) Chief Operating Officer, Evaine was the clear choice for advancing our goals and building from our strong momentum (much of which she is responsible for).   Since the launch of our public search in September, we received over 120 applicants from around the country.  While it has been…

Read More

Opening Green Playces: McKeesport

  Last week in partnership with Trinity Church of God in Christ and Youth CAST, we successfully opened our fourth Green Playce! Every Green Playce is unique, and Green Playces: McKeesport in no exception.  The City of McKeesport has a rich history and our Green Playces Team wanted to honor the tradition of ingenuity as well as the connection to steel.  According to Tube City Online, "In 1872, the National Tube Works Company was founded to make steel and iron pipes…

Read More

“Growth” v. Growth – Remembering the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, 2016

GTECH stands for Growth Through Energy and Community Health.  It goes without saying that we think growth is important.  But we should clarify what we mean by growth, because not all growth is positive.  In fact, when growth becomes synonymous with success and excludes other metrics, it can be downright detrimental.  At the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference (Baltimore, September 28-30), Congressman Dan Kildee referred to this phenomenon by insisting that we live in “a culture based entirely on the conflation…

Read More

Build places people will love

Kaid Benfield, author of the new book, People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities, and one of the the "most influential people in sustainable planning and development" (Partnership for Sustainable Communities), came to Pittsburgh to tell us about  ways that we can make cities healthier. Here are 4 of my favorites: It's not just about 'cities' Kaid stressed the importance of thinking bigger - and smaller - than cities. Regions are the way we live. Neighborhoods are where we encounter our environment…

Read More

Blight Bootcamp T-Shirt Raffle

  Blight is like a bad, stinking and torn t-shirt. It’s a pain to look at. It costs you in money and close social relationships, as well as attracting unwanted trouble. But, while blight takes the right knowledge, resources, attitude and ability to combat, replacing that shirt is easy! All you need to do is register now for our Blight Bootcamp Conference, taking place in Hazelwood on October 7-8th, and you will be entered into a raffle for a free…

Read More

Opening Green Playces: Hilltop

Last week in partnership with The Brashear Association's Allentown Learning and Engagement Center, we successfully opened our third Green Playce! Every Green Playce is unique, and Green Playces: Hilltop is no exception. Nestled between two buildings, the site included a strip of pavement and a overgrown sloped hillside. We started to help design the Playce about six months ago, based on the input from the kids in ALEC's after school program. Their ideas for the space included pizza shops, roller coasters, and…

Read More

10 Years & 10 Reasons for 10 Gallons of Apples

Got Apples? We need 'em! We need help from you - our amazing GTECH community! As we approach our 10 year anniversary, we are busy planning how to expand the reach and impact of our programming, continue to work with communities across Allegheny County to shape how land is used for shared benefit, and of course celebrate this important milestone. But also, for our 10 year celebration, A Few Bad Apples has offered to create a special anniversary edition GTECH cider  ----…

Read More

Help Wanted: Must Have Gumption

Edward Abbey wrote that “Language makes a mighty loose net with which to go fishing.”  Well, I believe we are all in the business of fishing - for that reason “gumption” is perhaps the closest thing to a verbal harpoon that I can think of when describing the qualities I aspire for and consider necessary for effective leadership. After 10 years of start-up, organizational growth, and evolution filled with countless moments of inspiration, joy, and gratitude, I am proud to…

Read More

Professional Conferences Are Worth More Than The Networking!

GTECH has attended the ReClaiming Vacant Properties conference for the past three years, but this is my first opportunity to go. This got me thinking. Professional conferences can be daunting, especially if you are traveling alone. However, there are many benefits to pursuing these experiences even if they push you out of your comfort zone. Along with expanding your knowledge base, professional network, and professional resources, conferences can offer a so many more (and less spoken about) benefits! Benefit #1…

Read More