In the Zone

How lovely. Vibrant colors, unique shapes, and the urban landscape all coming together to form a beautifully intricate design. But no, the imaginative image seen here is not an artist's rendition of Pittsburgh from above. Rather, it is a snapshot of Pittsburgh's Zoning Map: a legal document establishing how land inside the City boundaries can be used. In this masterpiece, each color represents not a feeling or emotion, but a distinct element of urban existence. Cities are buzzing hubs of activity…

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PGH Mobile Toolbox Summer Update

The PGH Mobile Toolbox is 2 months old! We are so pleased with how well the resource has been rolling. To date, the trailer has accompanied 14 workdays, servicing over 120 volunteers, in 11 different communities. To celebrate this accomplishment, I have gathered a few of my favorite images from some of the workdays to highlight the great work being done in Pittsburgh and it's surrounding communities. Brookline Community Garden                 Forest Hills…

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Get The Election Choices Here!

People have been talking a lot about politics recently. Maybe you’ve noticed. Maybe you’ve wanted to do something about it. Maybe you’ve been struggling to find a way to make a difference. Sometimes government seems big, opaque, and far away, but next week we have a chance to vote in an election that will undoubtedly have real, tangible, local results.  At GTECH, we work regularly with fantastic public officials (and aspiring public officials) throughout the county, from Mayors, to council people, to…

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What makes GTECH great

As my official last week of my internship here at GTECH commences, I wanted to reflect on my time as an intern, my favorite experiences, and why I am proud to call myself a GTECHer. This past weekend I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with my Masters in Social Work, with a concentration in Community and Social Action (COSA). Many people do not associate social workers with nonprofits who work with communities to reclaim and invest in vacant land,…

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What Keeps Me Grounded

      The one thing that keeps me grounded is the opportunity not only to revitalize vacant land but more importantly the chance to revive the sense of comradery within the communities where we work. In the fall of 2016, GTECH recruited a dozen Hill District residents, called Ambassadors, to lead the movement for reclaiming vacant lots. For six months, the Ambassadors participated in classes and workshops to learn about the process of reclaiming vacant land. Throughout the classes, the Ambassadors designed vacant…

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GTECHers Share What Keeps Them Grounded

With GTECH's birthday just around the corner -- our real birthday is this Sunday(!) but we're celebrating next week -- the staff spent some time reflecting on what GTECH's turning 10 means to them. While it is easy to point to major accomplishments and milestones as being influential to our development over the past 10 years, it is the day-to-day things that truly stand out. The everyday interactions with community members, partners, volunteers, designers, planners, and policymakers continues to have the…

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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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An Open Thank You Letter to The GTECH Community:

The day has finally come.  Today is my last day as a GTECH Strategies employee.  While I will remain affiliated as an Emeritus Board Member - my time as a staff member is officially complete as of March 1.  I find myself feeling a strange combination of nostalgia and pride.   Ultimately, I am overcome with gratitude and humility.  The last ten years have been a spectacular entrepreneurial journey - and I have learned, experienced, and grown more than I…

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GTECH is Grounded. For Good.

GTECH’s new Executive Director, Evaine K. Sing, chose the above quote to represent our mindset as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary. In a letter to GTECH’s network earlier this month, Evaine shared her thoughts on this momentous and exciting occasion. She bid farewell to our founder and CEO, Andrew Butcher, and reflected on what the past 10 years has enabled GTECH to accomplish. The last decade has given GTECH the opportunity to move forward and approach work in the…

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Volunteer

GTECH Super-Volunteer: Scott!

Building out projects like our Green Playces takes a lot of hard work.  If we had to it all ourselves, they'd never get done.  We love working with the users and neighbors of these spaces, but we also welcome volunteers from around Allegheny County (and beyond, if you like). One of these volunteers really stepped up for the build out of our Hill District Green Playce. He attended every one of our five build days and played a huge role in developing…

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walking biking

Northside neighborhood trail maps now available!

Whether you live in Pittsburgh's Northside or not, it's unlikely that you've been able to explore each and every one of its 18 neighborhoods. Now you can do just that! We have trail maps, fresh off the press, for each of the Northside's neighborhoods. Over the past 2 years we've worked alongside One Northside and Northside residents to map out important community treasures and identify the best routes to explore them. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of assets! Our…

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ReClaim Halloween

My earliest memory is of my neighbor popping out of his front door in a full pumpkin costume when I was trick-or-treating with my parents. I don’t know if there’s a causal link here, but Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. And, sort of relatedly, my favorite color is orange (which, if we believe this study, is one of the rarest favorite colors). I’ve always looked forward to having a house with a yard that I could decorate like…

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