NPS-RTCA and GWUSA Select 3 Communities for Establishing New Trusts!

October 31st, 2013

Groundwork USA is thrilled to announce that 3 communities have been selected by NPS-RTCA and Groundwork USA for establishing new Trusts, pending the successful completion of a community-driven feasibility study in partnership with Groundwork USA. Taking place during 2014, the feasibility studies aim to help each Groundwork Steering Committee with: defining a vision, goals and objectives for its new Trust to undertake; identifying and prioritizing a slate of short-term and long-term projects and programs for the Trust to pursue; and planning for the fledgling Trust’s initial launch phase in its community.

Groundwork USA is pleased to announce our three potential new Trust communities, located in:

• Atlanta, Georgia
• Indianapolis, Indiana
• Jacksonville, Florida

For further information, please contact Anjali Chen at: anjali [at]

Groundwork USA Selected as a 21CSC (21st Century Conservation Service Corps) National Council Member

October 24th, 2013

Yesterday the 21CSC (21st Century Conservation Service Corps) National Council announced that Groundwork USA has been selected as a 21CSC member organization through our modeling of the core values that 21CSC represents, including increased diversity and expansion of opportunities for all youth and veterans, especially creation of service and job opportunities for those populations, restoration our natural resources, connection of Americans to the country’s lands and waters, effective recruitment of the next generation of public employees, and development of the next generation of conservation stewards.

Along with its network affiliates Groundwork Cincinnati, Groundwork Denver, Groundwork Lawrence, and Groundwork Milwaukee, Groundwork USA is part of an initial cohort of organizations helping young people and veterans accomplish meaningful work, gain important personal and professional skills, and also build a lifelong connection to the outdoors. Along with partners like Groundwork, the 21CSC National Council will continue to promote 21CSC principles in the hope that many more organizations will join the ranks of our partnership to lead our nation’s conservation movement well into the 21st Century.

To learn more about 21CSC, or to apply to become a member organization of the 21CSC National Council, please click here.

Life in Colors: Painting a Mural in Newburgh NY

September 11th, 2013

We thought we would share the inspiring story of a mural project in Newburgh, New York. Groundwork Hudson Valley, based in Yonkers, is currently expanding its work into Newburgh by partnering with other local non-profits in Newburgh (also located in the Hudson Valley area) – here’s the story of the Newburgh mural by the artist Dasic Fernandez.

Curt Collier Reporting from Yellowstone National Park!

August 26th, 2013

Twenty youth and 9 youth leaders from 9 Groundwork Trusts across the country are at Yellowstone National Park this week, for the second annual Groundwork USA Corps experience at Yellowstone. Read about it and see photos here Groundwork USA Corps Experience in Yellowstone National Park and GWUSA Youth Green Corps Dispatches from Yellowstone #2, of the hard-working, interesting and fun experience that urban youth from the Groundwork network are having. The goal of the week-long program is to provide diverse youth with the opportunity to work in Yellowstone alongside park professionals on a variety of projects and to tour this magnificent park. Youth traveled from Bridgeport, CT, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Dona Ana County, NM, Milwaukee, WI, Somerville, MA, Portland, OR, Washington, DC and Yonkers, NY, to Yellowstone NP.

GWUSA Urges DOI and “Let’s Move” to Prioritize LWCF Dollars for New Parks

June 19th, 2013

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) protects valuable parks and public lands and creates outdoor recreation opportunities for families across the country. LWCF also provides matching grants to local communities (many of which are Groundwork communities) looking to combat childhood obesity by increasing the number of safe places for kid to walk and play outside. These matching grants can be used to build playgrounds, ball fields, bike paths and other quality outdoor recreation opportunities that are close to home, open to the public and accessible to all.

Unfortunately, although hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties are paid into LWCF each year by energy companies drilling for gas and oil off-shore, Congress diverts nearly all of this money to other purposes, dramatically impacting efforts to build safe places for kids to get outside.

Groundwork USA has signed a letter to the First Lady and Interior Secretary Jewell asking them to make LWCF a priority of the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. We want both of these leaders to urge Congress to fully and permanently fund LWCF because it’s a valuable resource for communities to use in creating better access to the great outdoors, and in the fight against childhood obesity.

President Obama Talks Groundwork – In Northern Ireland!

May 22nd, 2013

President Obama was in Belfast this week, and in a speech at the Waterfront Hall on June 17th 2013, talks about the Alexandra Park interface in north Belfast, where a peace gate has been inserted to allow residents to enjoy the park in its entirety. Groundwork Northern Ireland’s Director Sylvia Gordon is mentioned by the President in his keynote speech. Something those in the U.S. may not know is that Groundwork USA was modeled on the Groundwork UK model, and works with a very similar approach to that of Groundwork Northern Ireland, in 20 communities here in the United States!

GWUSA in the news – as site visits for potential new Trusts begin

May 10th, 2013

Kate O’Brien of GWUSA and Doug Evans of NPS conducted a site visit in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, one of the communities selected for evaluation to become a new Groundwork Trust. The local newspaper covered their visit – read about it here! GWUSA staff, along with NPS staff, are currently visiting the eight communities selected this year for evaluation (including Lewiston-Auburn) – in New Bedford-Fall River, MA; Atlanta, GA; Jacksonville, FL; Chattanooga, TN; Los Angeles, CA; Indianapolis, IN; and Detroit, MI.

Groundwork Model Featured in New Policy Report on Sustainable Community Building

March 12th, 2013

Through the project and program work of Groundwork USA, this report examines the expanding roles and policy influence that community-based organizations play in developing the emergent model of sustainable community building.

Over the past decade, the Groundwork USA Network has established an impressive track record of projects yielding measurable outcomes in underserved neighborhoods. Serving as a new type of green community intermediary, the Groundwork Model connects revitalizations of the physical and social environments by engaging local residents in the ecological stewardship of their neighborhoods.

Learn more about the policy implications of this sustainable community development approach in a new report from our partners at Center for Community Progress:

GWUSA Sustainable Community Building 2013

Through its “on the ground” work in diverse places across the country, the Groundwork Network has also accumulated practical policy and program insights, which are featured in a series of case studies accompanying the report. As these demonstrate, several Trusts have become experts at navigating the complexities of federal and state environmental regulations, local land development processes, and the art of civic engagement and coalition building in distressed neighborhoods. Explore the work of Groundwork Trusts across the country in the areas of brownfields, urban waters and equitable development:

GWUSA Case Study – Brownfields – Lawrence, MA

GWUSA Case Study – Brownfields – Buffalo, NY

GWUSA Case Study – Brownfields – Denver, CO

GWUSA Case Study – Equitable Devt – Somerville, MA

GWUSA Case Study – Equitable Devt – Lawrence, MA

GWUSA Case Study – Equitable Devt – Hudson Valley, NY

GWUSA Case Study – Urban Waters – Anacostia, Washington, DC

GWUSA Case Study – Urban Waters – San Diego, CA

GWUSA Case Study – Urban Waters – Milwaukee, WI

Groundwork Denver Catalogs Built Environment Best Practices

March 7th, 2013

Check out their 2013 report cataloging their findings on how to best tackle the built environment and make it more green – Built Environment Best Practices Guide 2013

GWUSA Co-Sponsors Brownfields 2013

November 1st, 2012

The Brownfields 2013 Conference is in Atlanta, Georgia this year, and Groundwork USA is a co-sponsor. It will be taking place from May 15 to 17 and many of our Groundwork Trusts will be attending.