Member Stories

Neighbors Turn to Nextdoor to Help Beautify Vacant Lots

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Written by Anne Dreshfield

The Brighton Heights Neighborhood Garden and Green Space Committee in Pittsburgh beautifies vacant neighborhood lots that have fallen into disrepair by replacing them with beautiful gardens of all kinds.

Susan, the chair of the committee, needed help maintaining the existing gardens and planting news ones, so she turned to her neighborhood’s Nextdoor website, where her community was already discussing a variety of topics. Eager to see if her neighbors would be interested in her idea, Susan started a group on Nextdoor and asked her neighbors to join.

Shortly thereafter, neighbors flooded the group with ideas, gardening tips and tricks, and volunteering to help with the effort. Together, Susan worked with her neighbors, turning several vacant lots into green gardens, perennial gardens, and native plant gardens. Emboldened by their success so far, the group is now discussing planting an orchard, and even a butterfly garden.

“Within a day of my creating the group, many neighbors who had never met exchanged ideas for vacant lots near their homes, set up meetings, offered to help with projects, donate trees and plants, and generated enthusiasm for future orchards and edible gardens,” says Susan.

“As a new resident and designer who loves to grow food, the Garden and Green Space group on Nextdoor helped me quickly meet new people with similar interests,” said Susan’s neighbor, Don. “It’s given me the opportunity to volunteer my design services and physical abilities at existing gardens and green spaces.”

To start or sign up for your own Nextdoor site, click here.

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