THURSDAY, Oct. 1 — Lansing’s Moores Park neighborhood is trading in an abandoned house for a community gathering space — with a little help.
Mayor Virg Bernero and representatives from lawn care products company TruGreen, the Ingham County Land Bank, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and other city officials and community members gathered yesterday to unveil plans for the space. The vacant lot, located at 1845 Osband Ave. in Lansing’s Moores Park neighborhood, will be transformed into a community green space.
“We’re really honored to have this project right here in Moores Park,” said Natalie Molnar, president of the Moores Park Neighborhood Organization.
The new space will include a dwarf fruit tree orchard, a harvestable perennial garden and open gathering space. The project is made possible by a TruNeighbor grant and in-kind services provided by TruGreen — valued at $19,800 — and blight elimination funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Lansing is one of six pilot cities chosen for TruGreen’s TruNeighbor program.
“It’s our hope that by improving the quality of a community’s outdoor space we can also improve the quality of life for its residents by helping them to live life outdoors,” said Craig Raycraft, Michigan region manager for TruGreen.
An abandoned, 99-year-old house that formerly stood on the site was torn down to make room for the new space. The demolition is part of the Hardest Hit program, a partnership between the City of Lansing and the Ingham County Land Bank to remove blighted properties that are beyond restoration. The hardest hit program has demolished 250 abandoned homes across the city.
“Taking down derelict properties like this is a key part of our strategy to improve life in Lansing neighborhoods,” Bernero said. “Working with TruGreen and our great local and state partners, we are breathing life into neighborhood spaces block by block.”