Keep Cincinnati Beautiful’s Price Hill Vacant Lots Occupied Project Give Properties New Life

by | Jul 6, 2017

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful’s Price Hill Vacant Lots Occupied Project put unused vacant property to good use by planting trees, along with other food-bearing plants, to give these properties new life, while providing access to healthy, natural food to residents of Price Hill.

Cincinnati’s Price Hill is made up of three neighborhoods: Lower, East and West Price Hill, with some 40,000 people all being served by one grocery store. Many residents struggle to access healthy foods in the area, because of topography and ability. The intention of this project is twofold — manage the vacant land with something other than mowing, and grow food and other useful materials as close to residents as possible to increase access and improve the health and well-being of those who live, work and play in Price Hill!

This is a long-term project that will take several years to complete, but thanks to The UPS Foundation and Keep America Beautiful, we have made significant progress toward making food more accessible in low-income areas of Price Hill, and improving the appearance of its blighted vacant lots. Thus far, two large vacant lots have been cleaned up, and re-planted with trees (primarily fruit-bearing), and other plantings; two more lots are being prepared for planting in the fall of 2017.

The most wonderful part of this project has been the engagement from the community and partner organizations. Several neighbors have become interested in happenings on the vacant lots adjacent to their homes and got involved, either by helping to water plants, keeping an eye on things, or planting a fruit tree in their own front yard for public use.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful was able to give away 22 fruit trees to individuals who are planting them in their front yards to create accessibility and community conversations around growing and preserving their own food. KCB also developed strong partnerships with organizations like Turner Farms — a working farm located in Indian Hill, Ohio, committed to growing food organically and sustainably. Turner Farms has committed to working on building a community garden adjacent to the community library and recreation center, and educating residents on how to grow their own food.