Out of the nearly 30,000 vacant parcels distributed across the city, more than 15,500 are owned by and maintained by the City of Cleveland. Under the current maintenance capacity and routines, this landscape can become overgrown and lead to negative uses such as dumping and crime.
Ground Work aims to shift the trajectory of vacant land to ensure it provides both social and ecological benefits to the surrounding community. The Land Conservancy engages residents, community partners and city officials to provide the needed direction, counsel and feedback to ensure that these projects will be valued assets to the neighborhood. Since its inception in 2020, Ground Work has directly engaged over 60 residents in door-to-door surveys and stabilized over fifty parcels in Mount Pleasant, Buckeye-Shaker and Buckeye-Woodhill.
Through our collective efforts with partners at the City of Cleveland, community development corporations, neighborhood block clubs, and nonprofit and private donors, the Land Conservancy repurposed a former construction dump site, revitalized a neglected park space, rediscovered a walkable pathway along a busy street and cleaned up vacant lots around an entire block, all while planting more than 170 new trees.
The strategies of Ground Work are driven by the Land Conservancy’s rigorous research and first-hand experiences with the challenges of vacant land. Ground Work outcomes advance multiple goals, objectives and actions identified by documents such as the 2011 Re-Imagining Cleveland: Ideas to Action Resource Book, the 2018 Cleveland Climate Action Plan and the Cleveland Tree Plan.
As of winter 2021, eight Ground Work projects have been completed, with four more sites queued for 2022. The existing sites comprise 58 owned parcels that receive tree care through Ground Work and Reforest Our City.
The intended outcomes of Ground Work are to:
Interested in learning more about the Ground Work initiative? Reach out to us today for further details!