Hello! Our names are Ethan Busis, Mercedes Velasquez, and Anna Koebley, the three Heinz interns creating this blog. Our goal is to create text and video posts highlighting efforts that southwestern Pennsylvanian municipalities are doing to make their communities more sustainable. We hope that these creative ideas will inspire other municipal governments to start their own programs, as well as inform citizens how they can help with their efforts.
We plan to release a blog post once or twice a week from now until mid August. Sometimes we will have a video included in our post or pictures. Our main goal of this blog is to showcase efforts of the municipalities in southwest Pennsylvania. Sustainable Pittsburgh has released a Rapid Assessment, found here, in which municipalities responded to 14 main areas of sustainability. Some municipalities responded with responses that varied from yes, no, and not sure that they have done that effort.
Throughout the summer we will interview municipal government leaders who are making strides to make their communities more sustainable. When possible, we will go out and record interviews, as well as film their projects. We will edit and post this footage for all to see.
The Heinz Endowments Program is an internship that grants 36 high-school students the chance to work to improve their community by developing and implementing a youth philanthropy project. This summer the Heinz Endowments interns are working together with different organizations such as Sustainable Pittsburgh, United Way, Student Conservation Association, and various other organizations to research issues affecting youth and their communities, identify service priorities and then develop funding guidelines and proposals in order to solve these issues.
Another aspect of the Heinz internship program is developing a request for proposals, and then give a grant of 25,000 (sponsored by the Heinz Endowments) to one or more municipal governments. Our grant is focusing on making municipal vehicle fleets more sustainable, either through education, alternative fuels, alternative transportation or through other means. We are currently writing our request for proposals, and we will update the blog later with more information as we progress through the grant giving process.
Thanks for checking us out!