Western Reserve Land Conservancy has worked for a decade on a comprehensive strategy to address vacant and abandoned properties and enhance urban green space in the Buckeye-Woodhill, Buckeye-Shaker, Mount Pleasant, Union-Miles, and Slavic Village neighborhoods of Cleveland’s southeast side. So far, we have:
We have created a variety of programs designed to efficiently and effectively identify and repurpose vacant lots and abandoned buildings for positive community use.
Ground Work is a program of the Land Conservancy launched in 2020. It is designed to provide scalable, aesthetically pleasing, high-impact intervention strategies to create high-quality green spaces that are low-cost and easily maintained.
Our Side Yard program helps residents identify and purchase vacant lots adjacent to their properties as side yards where they can plant gardens, enjoy more outdoor space, host cookouts, and much more. In the Mount Pleasant, Buckeye-Shaker and Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhoods, the Land Conservancy has supported the acquisition, transfer and improvement of 130 vacant lots, turning them into side yards for residents.
In the summer of 2021, the Land Conservancy partnered with the City of Cleveland’s Public Works Department, Cuyahoga County’s Solid Waste District and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Environmental Crimes Task Force on a dumping mitigation initiative to support the health, environment and visual appeal of the target neighborhoods.
Using our GIS and planning expertise, we work with cities and neighborhood groups to survey all parcels in a given community and conduct an analysis. Property inventories provide maps, statistics and analysis of land use, vacancy and structure condition of building stock in addition to other factors, such as the prevalence of dumping.