Last fall, Mayor Ravenstahl's Love Your Block program collected over 5,480 pounds of litter, impacted 47 city blocks, and engaged over 660 volunteers. With a new round of grants announced last week, neighborhood volunteers throughout the city are set to do it all over again.
Some of this latest round's projects include the CAPA 6-12 school's literature-meets-urban-garden showcase; vacant-lots-turned-community gardens in Homewood, led by the YWCA; improved landscape around a municipal building in Uptown; and more gardens and improvements in Polish Hill, Oakland, the Hill District, Elliott, and Deutschtown.
Chief Service Officer Rebecca Delphia says that Love Your Block projects have been successful in engaging long-standing organizations as well as first-time volunteers.
In some cases, as with a vacant-lot transformation in Brighton Heights, projects have been a catalyst for continued neighborhood involvement. Delphia says in this case, volunteers are not only continuing to maintain a newly installed rain garden, but they have built lasting connections to complete additional projects in the future.
Love York Block was launched last year, and is one of seven components of the mayor’s servePGH initiative, which engages volunteers to address challenges in the City. The Home Depot Foundation has donated $10,000 toward the program in the form of $500 Home Depot gift cards, and City services are coordinated to assist with certain tasks.
Delphia says Mayor Ravenstahl is committed to dramatically growing servePGH, and hopes to bring the program to up to 50 neighborhoods a year, starting in the fall.
Look for the current round of projects to begin sprucing-up neighborhoods later this spring, in May and June.
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Rebecca Delphia