The Spring Hill Civic League won the 2015 "best revitalization" prize in the Love Your Block grants. Photo courtesy City of Pittsburgh.

Volunteers across the city are planning to show some love to blighted city lots this spring. Nineteen organizations in the city of Pittsburgh will receive funding to clean up and beautify vacant lots through the Love Your Block grant program, Mayor Bill Peduto’s office announced.

This is the ninth season for the program, which awards $1,000 to block improvement project plans. The money is used for supplies and tools, and an additional 20th award of $2,000 will go to the organization that completes the most successful improvement project, all of which take place between April 1 and June 30.

“These projects exhibit the best of what the city of Pittsburgh has to offer, an unmatched sense of pride with a passionate spirit of volunteerism,” Peduto said in a statement.

The grants are funded by a donation of $25,000 from Peoples Natural Gas, and the program is based on the Cities of Service initiative which was started in 2009 by then-New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. The goal is to promote community involvement, as all the people working on the various projects are volunteers.

The Spring Hill Civic League received last year’s Best Block Revitalization award, and took home the additional $2,000 for the work it did to enhance the neighborhood gateway.

The Spring 2016 recipients of the Love Your Block Grant are:

Bible Center Church: Volunteers will enhance an existing community space by planting flowers, building a children’s performance stage, and repairing a wooden fence.
Bloomfield Development Corporation: Volunteers will create a litter awareness campaign, participate in a clean up day, and place cigarette butt receptacles at participating properties.
Brightwood Civic Group: Volunteers will landscape a vacant lot and create a neighborhood gateway.
Friendship Community Group: Volunteers will enhance a playground on school district property by landscaping, painting rusted metal equipment, and repairing a retaining wall.
Garfield Community Action Team: Volunteers will install a rain garden and two rain barrels. as well as improve a small wooden sign on a vacant side lot.
Lincoln Lemington Community Consensus Group: Volunteers will clean up litter, plant a flower garden, and install a rain barrel on a city-owned lot.
Mellon Street Neighbors: Volunteers will create a green space on a vacant lot.
Monticello Street Hospitality House: Volunteers will clear an overgrown, vacant city-owned lot and install garden boxes.
Morningside Area Community Council: Volunteers will repaint an iron fence, trim trees, and plant flowers along a neighborhood sidewalk.
Mount Washington Community Development Corp.: Volunteers will construct raised planters, remove litter, and clear overgrowth in a city-owned playground..
Northside Coalition for Fair Housing: Volunteers will plant flowers and clean up litter on two Northside properties.
The Pittsburgh Project & The Outdoor Classroom: Volunteers will clean overgrowth and rebuild raised bed gardens on a city-owned lot.
Page Street Conroy Garden: Volunteers will improve accessibility and expand the “living classroom” area of an existing community garden.
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum: Volunteers will landscape and clean up lawn and areas surrounding this veterans’ monument.
South Oakland Neighborhood Group: Volunteers will plant flowers, remove weeds, and install both a bench and an art project in existing community space.
South Pittsburgh Development Corp.: Volunteers will create a litter awareness campaign, participate in a clean-up day, and place cigarette butt receptacles at participating properties.
South Side Community Council: Volunteers will plant a perennial flower garden surrounded by a short fence, as well as perform general clean up, near the entrance of Ormsby Community Recreation Center.
Stanton Heights Neighborhood Association: Volunteers will install rain gardens and paint stair rails on a vacant city-owned lot.
Westside Community Organization: Volunteers will improve an existing flower garden on URA property.

Kim Lyons is an award-winning writer and editor always on the lookout for a great story. Her experience includes writing about business, politics, and local news, and she has a huge crush on Pittsburgh.