The Challenge:

With some 16,000 vacant lots – more than 3,300 acres of land – Buffalo has an abandonment crisis, posing unique challenges but also opportunities for the recovery of vacant land for community benefit.

The visual blight and the real and perceived crime associated with vacant lots continue to drive people away, compounding the ongoing trend of disinvestment in many of Buffalo’s neighborhoods. Like many postindustrial cities, Buffalo has numerous environmental and economic challenges: combined sewer overflow that pollutes our water, contaminated land, limited access to well-maintained parks, a lack of fresh produce in many neighborhoods, and high unemployment.

Our Approach:

We work with neighborhoods and provide them the tools and knowledge to find solutions to transform vacant properties into vibrant community spaces. We provide opportunities for local residents to come together and collectively work towards improving the social and physical environment of their neighborhoods.

We connect neighborhoods, schools, churches and other organizations and engage them in events and projects that build trust and community. By collaborating and sharing talent, knowledge and resources, Groundwork Buffalo believes we can improve our environment, economy and the well-being of our residents.

Through our Green Team, we provide Buffalo high school students with the job skills necessary to make positive change to their neighborhoods and lives. Green Team participants are taught leadership skills and how to translate their work experience to projects within their own community.