We’re Back! ReClaim Clairton 2.0 is Almost Here!

Gearing up for ReClaim Clairton 2.0 It is hard to believe that the first year of our ReClaim Clairton Ambassador program has come to a close. We are so excited and proud of the accomplishments that our Ambassadors have achieved over the past 12 months. ReClaim Clairton 2016 - 2017 The ReClaim Ambassador model builds the knowledge and capacity of residents to design, organize and lead vacant lot revitalization efforts. The 2016-2017 Clairton ReClaim Ambassador Program has engaged, equipped, and…

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ReClaim Central Graduation

Last week the GTECH team gathered at the Hill House Blakey Program Center to celebrate the completion of the 2017 ReClaim Central Ambassador projects. The gathering served as a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the projects and to recognize the hard work of the 11 civically-minded Hill District residents who dedicated their time as ReClaim Central Ambassadors. Beginning last winter, the Ambassadors attended a series of six workshops and educational sessions. During these sessions, the Ambassadors completed designs for…

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Introducing Land Lab!

Spinning off from the successful city-wide Blight Bootcamp Conferences of the last two years in partnership with the Blight Working Group, GTECH is launching a series of Land Labs that will target the specific vacant land issues of a particular neighborhood. The first of the series will be hosted in Larimer! The first Land Lab is taking place on Saturday, November 4, in Larimer at St. James AME Church. The neighborhood is seeing significant development but is still dealing with high numbers of…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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“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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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