The Punchlist 2-19-2021

The Punchlist is back! Each week at the end of the week, we’ll share some of our favorite sustainability, climate, local, and whatever else – related stories.

This week’s edition features more exciting local and national news about the environment!

Investing in Larimer: Walnut Capital and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh are partnering to invest millions of dollars into Larimer projects. These projects range from building affordable housing to funding a workforce development center. The new single-family homes will be constructed on Mayflower Street and will be sold at or below 80 percent of the area median income while the workforce development center will provide the community with job training.

Bright Future for Cleaner Air: Pittsburgh’s Group Against Smog Pollution (GASP) is starting a new program, Fresh Voices for Clean Air, which will pair high school students in Allegheny County with peers in Birmingham, Alabama. Both of these cities have experienced some of the worst air quality in the country. While participating in this program, students will complete projects related to air quality as well as choose an environmental project to research and complete in their communities.

Pets are Welcome: With the Covid-19 pandemic limiting indoor gatherings, many people have turned to state parks for fun, safe things to do. Starting in 2022, visitors will be allowed to bring their pets to 130 new sites and cabins across six parks. While there are some rules defining what specific types of pets are allowed, this is a huge win for nature-loving pet owners.

Net Zero Homes: A Canadian homebuilding company, Jayman BUILT, has produced home models built to Net Zero certification. The company’s new product line, Quantum Performance Ultra E-Home, reduces home operating costs, exceeds 2030 building code, and meets 2050 Net Zero targets. These homes will be 80 percent more energy efficient than homes built to conventional standards.

New Director, New Plans: Grow Pittsburgh has a new executive director. Denele Hughson, the new director, is the first Black woman to serve as executive director of this nonprofit. Some of Hughson’s plans for the organization include expanding the reach of the garden resource center into new communities as well as expanding Garden Dreams, a nursery that Grow Pittsburgh took over last year. Hughson hopes that when the Garden Dreams project is completed, it will serve as a center for education, seedling sales, produce sales and workshops, and a community gathering spot.

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