Inspiration: Vacant Lots Turned Gardens

Inspiration: Vacant Lots Turned Gardens

Every neighborhood has it: an ugly, abandoned vacant lot that's sat unused for years. Now many cities are offering to help communities turn vacant lots into urban gardens…

Rather than letting vacant lots sit trash filled, Chicago citizens are being encouraged to convert them into vegetable gardens to feed local neighborhood residents, or merely spruce up the lot into an ornamental garden.

All residents need to do is contact the City of Chicago's Department of Community Development to verify whether the land is city-owned or not. If the lot is city-owned, the request is transferred to the city's Sustainable Development Division. Residents must submit who will be involved in the project, whether or not they are experienced gardeners or farmers and the intended use of the vacant space. Once that information is submitted, those involved are partnered in a three-year program with Chicago's Greencorps Program, which provides horticultural guidance and landscape materials free of charge to groups planting gardens in public spaces. Even if the site is not city-owned the lot could still be converted, with permission from the property owner, but the process to do so may be longer.

For more information visit the Greencorps Chicago website or fill out their Application for Assistance.

Many other cities are offering similar programs, contact yours for more details. Also visit NeighborSpace for more information about urban garden transformations and a great photo gallery of examples.

via A Fresh Squeeze

(Image: Flickr member chicagogardens)

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