Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced the 10 recipients who will receive funding through his ServePGH initiative's “Love Your Block” (LYB) grant program. The block revitalization program provides an opportunity for local volunteers and residents to partner with the City to transform blighted lots into community assets. Thanks to a partnership with the Home Depot Foundation, local nonprofit organizations are awarded $500 dollars to purchase supplies and equipment to implement a block improvement project that mobilizes community volunteers. This is the second round of the program.
“Last fall, the positive impact of the first round of Love Your Block grantees was visible across the City," said Ravenstahl. "Participants leveraged over $7,500 of additional donations, collected 5,480 pounds of litter and impacted 47 City blocks. I look forward to seeing the impressive transformations that this spring’s grantees will make in their neighborhoods."
The program is one of seven service initiatives that are a part of the Mayor’s servePGH plan, which coordinates volunteers to help address the City’s greatest challenges. In choosing the recipients, the City gave special consideration to projects that demonstrate a creative solution to an identified community issue, address one or more vacant lots and leverage local and/or veteran volunteers. City departments will meet with the awardees and deploy City services such as trash collection and graffiti removal, as feasible.
The Home Depot Foundation generously donated $10,000 toward this program in the form of $500 Home Depot gift cards. For the second of two rounds of grants, the ten selected projects will each receive one gift card. Project implementation will take place this May and June, and applications for the next round of grants will be available this summer.
“The generous support from The Home Depot Foundation for the first 20 Love Your Block projects will be complete after this round; however, I am committed not just to continuing this program, but growing it to support 50 projects a year in the future,” Ravenstahl said. “We are extremely grateful to the Home Depot Foundation for their investment in this program and their national commitment to supporting vibrant and sustainable communities.”
For more information, visit servepgh.pittsburghpa.gov/loveyourblock, email email@example.com, or call 412-255-2280.
400 Block of Jucunda St. Clean-up Committee
Reclaim vacant lots by transforming them into gardens
Deutschtown Merchants Association
Beautify the business district on East Ohio St.
Elliott Community Group
Install a welcome sign at the entrance of the neighborhood and beautify the surrounding area
Habitat for Humanity
Conduct “front-yard facelifts” to a series of adjacent properties in the Hill District
Lighthouse Memorial Christian Center
Beautify the neighborhood by improving the landscape; adding greenery, trees, and flowers
Oakland Planning & Development Corporation
Revitalize the facade of a community building and beautify surrounding area
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12
Conduct a service-learning project where literary students study and plant urban gardens and showcase original urban nature writing around the school; partnering with the community and developing literary artists in grades 6-12
Polish Hill Civic Association
Beautify two vacant lots by planting gardens and improving the surrounding area
Improve the landscape around a municipal building by planting flowers and revitalizing the surrounding area
Reclaim vacant lots by implementing community gardens in Homewood
Mayor Ravenstahl launched servePGH in March 2011 to engage Pittsburgh’s citizens in service and answer President Obama’s national call to volunteerism. Through seven new and innovative servePGH initiatives, Mayor Ravenstahl has engaged citizens in volunteer-fueled solutions to revitalize City blocks, restore vulnerable residents’ homes, help middle-school youth navigate life’s challenges, and more. Over 1,000 volunteers have committed 4,500 hours of service through servePGH to date. Additional information is available at servepgh.pittsburghpa.gov.
Mayor Ravenstahl is a founding member of Cities of Service, a bipartisan coalition of more than 100 mayors from across the country dedicated to engaging more Americans in community service and harnessing the power of volunteers as a serious strategy to address local challenges. Founded in New York City, the coalition and its member cities respond to the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act's historic call to action by finding new and innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers to help solve pressing local challenges.