Cleveland Botanical Garden is committed to helping its surrounding community and the larger Great Lakes region through urban greening initiatives that stabilize neighborhoods and improve quality of life. Thanks to generous grant funding, the Garden’s Applied Research Program leads a multi-city initiative to identify best practices for transforming vacant urban properties into productive green infrastructure that ultimately preserves the quality of our Great Lakes.

This Vacant to Vibrant blog highlights the latest news in those efforts from Cleveland, Gary, IN, Buffalo, NY, and elsewhere. For more information, please contact Sandra Albro, Director of Research,, 216-707-2860.



RFQ: Landscape Contractors for installation of Vacant to Vibrant project in Gary, IN

Friday, March 20, 2015

 Cleveland Botanical Garden is accepting quotes from qualified Landscape Contractors to install small public recreation spaces with stormwater management features in Gary, IN. 

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Site Design and Legacy Cities

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
by Ryan Mackin Innovative site and stormwater design is essential in satisfying the spectrum of goals of Vacant to Vibrant. Our design team, Jason Kentner—partner at IMPLEMENT and associate professor of landscape architecture at Ohio State’s Knowlton School, and Sean Burkholder—as...

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Enough snow already, bring on spring

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
V2V project sites have been hibernating for a few months, but spring is just around the corner! The Vacant to Vibrant team is busy churning up plans for an eventful season after the thaw. Here’s what’s in store: In Gary… 2 houses were demolished in the fall under the Feder...

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The value of small-scale urban green space

Friday, January 9, 2015

In New York City, they are reenvisioning the spaces between buildings as green space. In Cleveland, we have an opportunity to build smart green space into our plans for redevelopment.

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V2V Neighborhoods: Population Boom and Decline

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
by Ryan Mackin Banner photo: Newsboys for Cleveland Call & Post newspaper gather at headquarters on the East Side, ca. 1935. Source: CWRU Encyclopedia of Cleveland History   The stories of the Vacant to Vibrant neighborhoods are essential to understanding the work we are doing together a...

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Q&A with Mike Supler, V2V landscape contractor

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The Supler Brothers pictured above, Mike (left) and Matt (right).  Photo courtesy of the Plain Dealer.   Tell us about your business, New Vista Enterprises. I started the company in August of 2000 after working for another company in the area for several years. My brother, Matt, joined ...

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Construction update

Friday, November 7, 2014
Fall construction of Vacant to Vibrant sites is nearing completion! Below are updated photos from our Cleveland sites. Progress since the last construction update includes a significant amount of work on the entire Shale Avenue site, curbside bioretention features on Shale and Crestwood Avenue, some...

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Botanical Garden Volunteer of the Year

Friday, October 31, 2014
On October 22nd, 2014, Cleveland Botanical Garden employees and volunteers gathered to celebrate and honor hundreds of volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to the institution. The annual Volunteer Appreciation Event awarded those with exemplary service in Education, Operations, Horticulture...

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Construction underway!

Friday, October 24, 2014
Progress is being made in all of the Vacant to Vibrant project cities as construction and demolition crews turn vacant parcels into beautiful spaces for people and plants. Check out these construction updates and photos for Buffalo, Gary and Cleveland!   Buffalo PUSH Buffalo’s internal...

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Designing for people: V2V community engagement and process

Friday, October 17, 2014
by Ryan Mackin   The community engagement strategy for Vacant to Vibrant incorporated desires and concerns of neighborhood residents in Gary, Cleveland, and Buffalo into a vision and eventual design for each project site. We solicited residents’ input on programming elements that are pa...

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Strategic placement of urban greening projects to ensure success

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
by Ryan Mackin and Joseph F. Koonce   The location of an urban greening project has a big impact on its eventual success. For that reason, it’s important to consider the goals of an urban greening project up front and ensure that those goals are incorporated into the process of selectin...

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Meet the Vacant to Vibrant team

Friday, September 26, 2014

V2V is a collaborative effort between various individuals and organizations in Buffalo, Gary and Cleveland--including Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Department of Research at the hub and community team leaders in each city.

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Low-maintenance lawn alternatives for urban vacant lots

Monday, September 22, 2014

Low-maintenance alternatives to turf grass can reduce the maintenance requirements of urban vacant land. Carefully consider the costs and benefits of a low-maintenance lawn before planting.

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10 tips for selecting the best community green infrastructure sites

Friday, September 12, 2014

Discover key tips and resources for selecting green infrastructure sites.  Based on lessons learned from Vacant to Vibrant's site selection process.

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About Vacant to Vibrant

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
   Vacant to Vibrant is a 4-year, 3-city project that examines the effectiveness of clustered, small urban greening installations to provide environmental and social benefits to communities. In the midst of a variety of important work in urban land reuse, green infrastructure, and urban g...

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