Drumroll please…

After a LOT of hard work and tedious editing, our surprise is FINALLY ready to be unveiled!

The Heinz Endowments Summer 2013 Youth Philanthropy Interns at Sustainable Pittsburgh are proud to present…


One of Sustainable Pittsburgh’s largest and most successful endeavors, the Sustainable Community Essentials Certification (SCEC) program, has been taken on by some of the region’s best known and loved neighborhoods and municipalities.  Executive Director Court Gould explains the benefits of the program for municipalities, while some of our pledged friends talk about how the program has impacted their municipality thus far.
YOU, TOO, CAN JOIN! Watch the video to find out how!

Special thanks to Court Gould, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, The Heinz Endowments Summer 2013 Youth Philanthropy Internship, and all of those involved in this project!  We could have never done this without you.

By: Megan Wall

Two Great Blogs to Follow!

Hello and good morning to our dedicated blog followers!

We would just like to say thank you for continuing to follow and read our blog.  We CANNOT believe it is the last day of July already… this summer is FLYING!  As always, thank you for your support, and please continue to keep your eyes peeled for more posts in the coming weeks!

In the meantime, please check out two incredibly interesting blogs!  Both are endeavors of two other groups within the summer internship program, with very different styles!

The first blog, the Breathe Project Youth blog, created by the THE1 team, has just been launched on WordPress.  Air quality and community health are two main focal points of the project, but knowing the team members working on it, I can assure you that many other topics will be covered, as well!  The Breathe Project Youth blog can be found here.

The second blog, Prospects in Prospect Park, part of the media work UWAC is doing, will concern Bhutanese refugees living in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  The team has been hard at work on this project and are collaborating with Pulitzer Prize finalist (1997) Bill Moushey, best known for his work Never Give Up, about James Harrison, and recent coverage of the Penn State sexual abuse scandal.  Feature writing pieces are expected to be released soon, so please visit the blog often!  The address is:

Thank you so much!  Happy blogging!

Frick Center Rising From The Ashes

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Exciting news!  To all who remember the 2002 fire that destroyed the Frick Environmental Center in Squirrel Hill (like myself), I am happy to report that people haven’t just been twiddling their thumbs over the ashes.

After over a decade of collaborating and designing, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is one step away from finalizing plans for a new center.  And like a rising phoenix, it’s better than before.

The design hopes to meet requirements for platinum LEED certification and the Living Building Challenge, producing all its needed energy and taking care of waste and rainwater onsite.  In addition, more gardens, parking space, and other renovations will be added around the new center.  The project will be led by the architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and funded by from the Frick Trust for $5.2 million, in addition to other various funds and donations from local foundations.

The center is scheduled to open in 18 to 24 months.  The public will also benefit from its education initiatives towards good environmental practices.  I can’t wait to visit!

See proposed sketches and keep up to date on the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s official page here.

Read more in an article by Ed Blazina in the Post Gazette here.

By: Rina Matsuda

Week of July 22, 2013

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Please enjoy the features of this week! Many of them were taken while enjoying the beauty of our fair city on lunch breaks. We thought it might be a nice change to show you how gorgeous the city is on an ordinary day!

The Sustainable Pittsburgh team traveled to the cozy town of Millvale to embark on a very interesting service project organized by a fellow Heinz Endowments senior intern, Bennett Gould.  This past year, Bennett has been ambitiously devoting his time to help implement Millvale’s first community library. For a great Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article about Bennett Gould, click here!

Fellow Heinz interns broke into several groups, in which took part in painting the library, cataloging the library’s books, weeding the library garden, and hanging dry wall. Many thanks to Brian Wolovich and Bennett for a really fulfilling and fun service project!

Congratulations, New Graduates!

duquesne_475x300Congratulations to all of the recent graduates of sustainability programs throughout the country! A special congratulations to those students graduating TODAY from Duquesne University’s MBA Sustainability Program! The ceremony begins at 2pm, with Bob McCutcheon, a managing partner of a Pittsburgh branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), serving as the diploma ceremony’s keynote speaker.

Be sure to check out the article here!

Redding It Up: Revitalization and Renewal in Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

Reaching the goal of sustainability should be desirable in every community to ensure its overall health and efficiency.  One of Sustainable Pittsburgh’s many programs, the Sustainable Business Designation, focuses on rewarding local businesses in Downtown and providing them with a certificate.  More information on the program can be found here.

Revitalization is rewarding to a community because of potential economic growth, the achievement of a common goal, and the transformation of a community into a safe and livable place.  The most recent revitalization efforts have taken place in neighborhoods like Lawrenceville, East Liberty, and Millvale.


At one point or another while traveling through the city, most Pittsburghers have probably trekked along Butler Street, one of the most important streets in Lawrenceville.  The goal of revitalization in Lawrenceville has been a work in progress for quite some time now, and continues to be so today.  An important principle that has been applied to the redevelopment of Butler Street is economic integration.  Upscale, high-end restaurants coexist side by side with affordable cafes and entertainment.  This allows a multitude of businesses from many different economic backgrounds to thrive.  This also creates a level of equity in the community, in the sense that it caters to almost all income levels.  Lawrenceville appears to be a growing, thriving community and the area can only expect more great things to follow.

East Liberty:

As Butler Street is to Lawrenceville, Penn Avenue is to East Liberty, another neighborhood that is becoming a beacon for sustainability.  Though many argue that the recently added Target on Penn Avenue has begun to gentrify the area, more residential space has been provided.  In spite of the displaced denizens of where the Target now stands, affordable housing was built specifically for those citizens located behind the business.

Within East Liberty, three different grocery stores exist within a mile radius of one another.  Some communities in Pittsburgh, like Hazelwood, do not have a single grocery store.  East Liberty’s selection of grocery stores accommodates different levels of economic and dietary needs. Though many argue that three businesses selling similar products within a single neighborhood is unnecessary, the three stores help to promote equity among residents, provide a plethora of food sources, and add to its economic health.


As a Shaler Area graduate, I am always excited to hear about all of the progress being made in Millvale.  The community has always been full of potential, and, finally, its committed, involved members are taking action.  A huge, nearly finished flourishing work in progress is the Millvale library.  Despite the fact that the Millvale Library has not yet opened, the space already has played host to concerts, gardening spots, and weekly book clubs.  Once it opens to the public on August 18th, the library will be a place for residents of all ages to learn, discuss, plant, and grow as a community.  Another task that the Millvale library plans to spearhead is GED tutoring sessions for those seeking to receive their high school diplomas.

The library could not have been finished, let alone created, without the help and ingenuity of Mr. Brian Wolovich, a full time teacher and dedicated member of the community who has taken the project to new heights.  Due, in part, to his never-ending commitment to the library’s fruition, the library’s impact on the community is sure to bring success and positivity to the area.  Once again, the grand opening is August 18th, and all are welcome to come and see the amazing finished product that has been years in the making.

Revitalization: simply building up and enhancing assets that already exist – not necessarily starting from ground zero.  With motivation, the tireless work of others, and many willing hands, you could be on your way to redeveloping a community in need.  Pittsburgh itself is living example of revitalization!  Our city shows us, and will continue to show us, that there will always be a new tomorrow to improve and revitalize a community.

By: Alexandra Sorce

Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge

AND WE’RE OFF! The Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge has officially begun in our region!

Of all of the initiatives Sustainable Pittsburgh has taken, the Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge has had one of the largest influences on large-scale sustainability in the area.  The Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge is a program created for businesses, non-profits, municipalities, and colleges/universities who would like to engage in a friendly competition in which they can receive praise for their sustainable actions. Participants can earn points through a measurable and verifiable system based on how they accomplish sustainable goals. Participants can also track their progress. All sensitive information is kept confidential to protect those participating.


The program started in June 2013 and is ongoing until June 2014. There will be an awards ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of all of those who participated when the challenge concludes next June.

If you are curious as to how you can join the challenge, more information on the endeavor can be found here.

Are YOU up to the CHALLENGE?

By: Xander Schempf