7 Steps to Turn a Vacant Lot into a Community Treasure

Do you ever dream that the vacant lot down the street will be transformed into a dog park? What about an outdoor performance venue?

Stop dreaming. Make it happen.

Lots to Love is a Pittsburgh-based organization that provides step-by-step instructions for those of you looking to transform the vacant lots in your communities.

  1. Engage your community throughout the process. It’s important that your community helps determine and is on board with the design idea. If they’re engaged, neighbors will be a great source of volunteers.
  2. Determine the design (e.g. tool library, community garden, etc.). Take into consideration your community’s goals, capacity to complete hands-on work to transform the lot, and the funding your community will need to implement a specific design.
  3. Identify a lot that’s suitable for the design selected. For example, if you’re looking to grow food, you’ll need to select a lot that has access to water, sunshine, and quality soil.
  4. Raise funds for your lot’s transformation through crowdfunding, grants, donations, or sponsorships.
  5. Get permission from the lot’s owner. This is key! The owner may grant short or long-term access to the lot, or the lot may need to be purchased before beginning work.
  6. Build your project with the help of volunteers.
  7. Celebrate and maintain your lot!

 

Check out Lots to Love’s website to dive deeper into the nitty gritty of the above instructions and to check out a few of their ideas for lot transformations.

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