Groundwork Atlanta has undertaken a search for an Executive Director! Please see the job description and application details here: Groundwork Atlanta Executive Director Job Description 2016
Groundwork USA is honored to welcome Christina Smith as the new Executive Director of Groundwork Bridgeport. Born and raised in Bridgeport, CT, until the age of 12, Smith brings to Groundwork Bridgeport a deep commitment to her hometown as well as a wealth of urban planning and financial management experience, serving most recently as Bridgeport’s Director of Central Grants.
Smith has lived in Bridgeport on and off her entire life. After earning a B.A. in Economics from Princeton and working in the financial industry in a variety of roles, she pursued graduate studies “with the specific aim of returning to Bridgeport to make my hometown better and restore it to its former glory!” Smith holds an M.A .in Historical and Sustainable Architecture from New York University and an M.Sc. in Urban Regeneration from University College London, Bartlett School of Planning, where she focused on brownfields redevelopment.
Just weeks into her new role, Smith hopes “to reconnect [Groundwork Bridgeport] to the broader community and act as a local resource for organizations both within and outside of the city who seek to do community development, with a particular focus on the physical environment. My goal is to create, grow, and expand programs to meet the current needs of the city including in the areas of urban farming, urban forestry, and urban agriculture. Our work with youth and education will focus on these areas.”
When she’s not busy at the helm of Groundwork Bridgeport, Smith enjoys learning new languages — she’s studied seven to date — creating art, and traveling.
Groundwork Buffalo is pleased to welcome Antonina Simeti as its new Executive Director. An experienced urbanist, Simeti is committed to creating new models for economically and environmentally sustainable development. She is especially interested in participatory planning processes and place-based interventions that challenge traditional planning frameworks in order to meet broad policy goals.
“It’s a great time to be in Buffalo,” said Simeti. “With the experience and resources of the Groundwork USA network, the excitement of our board, and community members hungry to participate, I think we can all work together creatively to drive the kind of transformation from which everyone benefits. My goal is to support purposeful, yet innovative projects that will empower and generate excitement. Groundwork Buffalo provides a perfect platform to equip our neighborhoods to respond, with optimism, to the environmental, economic, and global climate forces continuing to impact the city. It’s exciting, and I’m glad to be here and a part of it!”
Simeti’s professional experience includes non-profit management, design strategy, public policy research, user research, and environmental impact analysis. She has worked with a range of stakeholders including government agencies, elected officials, community-based organizations, business leaders, cultural and higher education institutions, designers, and educators. Simeti holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Tufts University and a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In late September, Groundwork Somerville and NPS-RTCA brought Canoemobile, a two-day paddling event, to Boston. Canoemobile is a program of a non-profit adventure tourism organization out of Minnesota called Wilderness Inquiry that travels with six 24-foot canoes all over the country. The program came to Somerville on September 22nd, 2015 at the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse and was hosted by GWS. The second day of programming was hosted by YMCA Boston at DCR Neponset Park in Dorchester.
Read more about the event through Rani Jacobson, NPS-RTCA and GWUSA Fellow, here: Canoemobile Boston/Somerville.
Kudos to Groundwork Denver, Groundwork Milwaukee, and Groundwork New Orleans for winning U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Small Grants to lessen climate change impacts and increase climate resilience in their respective communities.
- Groundwork Denver, together with local partners, will develop an action plan with residents of low-income Denver communities to address the public health impacts of extreme heat events.
- Groundwork Milwaukee will train community teens and young adults to build rain gardens and install rain barrels to collect stormwater runoff and prevent flooding, demonstrating how green infrastructure can lessen the effects of climate change.
- The Groundwork New Orleans Building Climate Resilient Communities project will teach students to design, build, and install solar-powered charging benches on or near bus stops in underserved communities, providing community members with clean energy to use during daily commutes and during emergency power outages.
Learn more about these Trusts’ winning project proposals listed by EPA region, as well as other great projects that support and empower underserved communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues.
This summer, Groundwork USA sent nine Green Team youth from around the network for a week-long trip to Grand Teton National Park to work, learn and live. While in the backcountry of Wyoming, the youth learned new skills that they can bring to their Groundwork projects back home, gained more knowledge about themselves and how they work, and a greater appreciation for nature.
Whilst in Wyoming, they had the opportunity learn more about themselves and how they work. For Cindy Leija from Groundwork Dallas, patience was an important lesson learned: “I would get stressed out working in the heat. But patience is a benefit to me and my team, and it’s worth it.” Many Green Team members found that their trip has not only brought a focus to their work in their cities but also made them grateful for their Groundwork education. “Groundwork has been here for me and been an opportunity for me and my friends to avoid being on the streets,” Jeremiah Roy says. “It gives us something to look forward to.”
This summer’s partnership was our first with Grand Teton National Park, modeled after our current partnership with their neighbor to the north Yellowstone National Park and their Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program. Groundwork USA’s vision is to extend our partnership with Grand Teton and continue bringing urban youth to the greater outdoors for these once (maybe twice) in a lifetime experiences.
Jeremiah Roy, Groundwork NOLA
Cindy Leija, Groundwork Dallas
Makalah Emmanuel, Groundwork Denver
This summer, Groundwork USA sent Green Team youth from around the network for a week-long trip to Yellowstone National Park to work, learn and live. While in the backcountry of America, the youth learned new skills that they can bring to their Groundwork projects back home, gained more knowledge about themselves and how they work, and a greater appreciation for nature. Building a stone wall was one of the major projects that they worked on. In addition, the Green Team students were able to talk to park rangers and YCC staff about their roles within the Park Service and to talk about career ideas. Read more about Yellowstone through the eyes of three youth from Groundwork Jacksonville, Groundwork Portland and Groundwork Richmond.
Eduardo Guzman, Groundwork Jacksonville
Medina Gedi, Groundwork Portland
Favian Gutierrez, Groundwork Richmond CA
Groundwork Denver is running a campaign to raise funds for their Groundwork Greens project – a unique social enterprise greenhouse that will provide meaningful job training to low-income Denver youth while producing 10,000 pounds of food per year. Check out this ioby campaign here, where you can read more about the project and contribute.
Groundwork Jacksonville, one of our newest Trusts to join the GWUSA network, has been busy working on all kinds of exciting projects with its first-ever Green Team this summer. Read here about Eduardo Soriano-Guzman, a GWJAX Green Team-er, excited to head out on a one-week trip to Yellowstone National Park, along with other Groundwork Green Team members from across the country!