YOUNGSTOWN — A generous grant from The Raymond John Wean Foundation will help Mahoning County Land Bank to further reduce blight in neighborhoods.
The Wean Foundation (http://www.rjweanfdn.org) has awarded $45,000 to a nonprofit organization that supports the County Land Bank’s work and mission toward the costs of removing trash and planting grass, trees and flowers on vacant land. The grant complements the County Land Bank’s Vacant Lot Beautification Fund, which was created in May to cover the costs of cleaning, greening and beautifying undeveloped land in neighborhoods.
Debora Flora, the County Land Bank’s executive director, says the fund and the Wean Foundation’s award will make neighborhood revitalization efforts more complete.
“Recent demolition funding awards have provided money for light landscaping after blighted, abandoned homes have been removed,” she said. “We realized that our greening efforts could be diluted by the presence of additional vacant, abandoned lots that often are overgrown, littered and hazardous.”
The County Land Bank’s Directors agreed to create an ongoing funding stream when they established the Vacant Lot Beautification Fund. A portion of proceeds from every sale of vacant land or house in the County Land Bank’s inventory will be earmarked for this fund. Mahoning County has thousands of vacant, abandoned lots, however, which is why additional contributions to the Vacant Lot Beautification Fund will be sought. “We are extremely grateful to The Raymond John Wean Foundation not only for its generosity, but also for being the first to support us in this endeavor,” Flora said.
Mahoning County Land Bank strategically acquires distressed properties and returns them to productive, taxpaying use, thereby reducing blight, stabilizing neighborhoods and property values, promoting neighborhood reinvestment and economic development opportunities; and improving quality of life throughout the county.