(PITTSBURGH) July 31, 2013 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced the 23 organizations that will receive funding through the fifth round of his Love Your Block(LYB) grant program, a servePGH initiative. Through the block revitalization program, in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, the City awards $1,000 to purchase supplies and equipment to implement a block improvement project that mobilizes community volunteers to transform blighted lots into community assets. Additionally, a special $2,000 prize will be given to the organization that carries out the most successful block transformation, according to identified criteria. Fall project implementation will take place from August 31 to October 31, 2013.
“Love Your Block continues to provide an opportunity for residents to serve their communities by carrying out creative block revitalization projects and encouraging community spirit throughout Pittsburgh,” Ravenstahl said. “Over the past two years, Love Your Block volunteers have beautified approximately 200 city blocks, collected over 20,000 pounds of litter and created 150 new community green spaces.”
Love Your Block is one of nine innovative service initiatives that are part of Mayor Ravenstahl’s servePGH initiative, which engages volunteers to help tackle Pittsburgh’s greatest challenges. In addition to receiving funds to purchase necessary supplies, organizations also receive support from City services, such as trash collection and graffiti removal. In choosing the recipients for the fall, the City gave special consideration to projects that engage local veterans and projects that beautify local business districts. Applications for the next round of spring grants will be available early next year.
Love Your Block is made possible thanks to The Home Depot Foundation, which generously donated $130,000 to the initiative and enabled the City to increase the number of revitalization projects from 20 to 50 per year. It is also supported by the Corporation for National Community Service and the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
While all of the projects this past spring were impressive, Lawrenceville United was selected to win the “Best Block Revitalization Project” and will receive an additional $2,000 Home Depot gift card for future block enhancements. The group revitalized an area between 50th and 51st Streets in Lawrenceville and leveraged over $1,200 in donations for the project. Pictures of their work are available on the servePGH website here.
“Love Your Block helped our organization get face time with City workers and agency representatives,” said Becky Thatcher, Community Project Coordinator of Lawrenceville United. “That face time has allowed relationships to grow and flourish and to establish long-lasting partnerships that we can utilize to continue to make positive change in our neighborhood. Our neighborhood will continue to see the possibilities and ability to easily transform blight and vacancy into pride and space for the community.”
Beechview Community Garden
Beechview Walking Club
Borland Community Garden
Community Alliance of Spring Garden East Deutschtown
The Corner – A Program of Friendship Community Church
Deutschtown Merchants Association
Elliott Community Group
Fineview Citizens Council
Greenfield Community Association
MLK (Moving the Lives of Kids) Mural Project
Monongahela Marsden Block Association
Mulford Street Corridor Block Association
Oakland Business Improvement District
Oakland Planning and Development Corporation
Observatory Hill, Inc.
Olivet Baptist Church
Save Race Street Committee
Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition Gateway Committee
Southside Chamber of Commerce
Tree of Hope
Mayor's Office of Service and Civic Engagement
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2280 | facsimile 412-255-2988