Refresh Fund

Throughout the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, there are over a hundred community-driven green space projects. Every year, each of these existing projects require the continued investment of resources in order to be sustained or grow. The most significant investment is that of labor and love from residents like you who receive little or no compensation for their efforts, however other costs include: accessing the right tools for the job, technical support with project planning and policy navigation, and small costs for upkeep and materials. These material costs are represented by specific investments in things like a fresh coat of paint, pickets to fix a hole in a fence, or mulch to support healthy plants and suppress weeds. As time passes, these costs can add up, and make it difficult to keep your space healthy, safe, and beautiful.

The goal of the sustainability fund is to support an environment for resident greenspace leaders and stewards to thrive year-after-year through the distribution of small in-kind grants for materials related specifically to site sustainment and slow-growth – and offer connections to other capacity-building resources that can ultimately lead to their self-sufficiency and long-term resilience.

Guidelines for the Refresh Fund

In order to be considered, your project must be community-serving.

Materials awarded through the Refresh Fund should either: (1) help to sustain the initial quality of the site, (2) decrease the amount or intensity of maintenance required, (3) address a specific maintenance, accessibility, or safety concern, or (4) contribute directly to improving the health of soil or plants on site. 

If you are looking for funding for new amenities/additions to your site that have no relationship to the physical sustainability of your site please look into the resources listed at the end of this document. Understanding that an active site is more sustainable than a deserted one; considerations will be made for requests to supplement existing amenities in order to improve programming and community engagement there.

Average awards are between $100 and $500 in material-costs. Materials are to be purchased by Grounded Strategies for your project.

Example of things we do fund:

  • Mulch
  • Wood Chips
  • Materials for repairs
  • Storage
  • Paint
  • Plants

Example of things we do not fund:

  • Play equipment
  • New structures
  • Signage
  • Hoop houses
  • Agriculture equipment generally
  • Pesticides
  • Chemical fertilizers

Refresh Fund Process

Apply: Submit your completed application, either by completing and scanning/mailing the physical form to Grounded or by completing the online form. Grounded staff is available by phone or email to help you through this process.

Review/Approval: Grounded vets your application based on the alignment with the goal of the fund, and will provide feedback in the event that this condition is not met. Grounded will review all applications for impact and urgency and select a number of applications to award for the active period.

Procurement: Grounded will develop a draft budget for your feedback or approval. Once the budget is approved, Grounded will order the materials and arrange pick-up or delivery to your project site. 

Applications for the first period of the Refresh Fund in 2020 will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 30th.

Application Form

  • Project Contact

  • Project Information

  • Project Narrative

    This information helps us to better understand the needs for your site
  • Please describe the purpose or mission of the project. Is this part of a larger program or organization?
  • Please describe the neighborhood, School or after-school group, Community Group, etc. that this project serves.
  • Maintenance/Materials needed

    Please provide a description of what issues you plan to address with the Refresh Fund. The Refresh fund is focused on site-sustainability, please do not include any new site amenities in your request.
  • Example: Weeds are invading my garden beds. Materials include 6 bags of mulch to suppress weed growth. Estimated cost is about $40
  • If applicable, list any critical dates that align with the completion of your project. Please note that it will take us at least 2 weeks to process your request.
  • Other Information