Tuesday, July 21, 2015  |  0 Comment(s)  |   Email   Print

DIY site visits

by Ryan Mackin

Seeing photos and reading info about Vacant to Vibrant online is one thing, but to truly grasp what these community stormwater parks are about, it’s best to visit the sites in person. Even if you’re familiar with Cleveland, Gary or Buffalo, you might not be familiar with the V2V neighborhoods in each city. The information below demonstrates how get to each of our project neighborhoods and sites therein.


Getting to the Neighborhood: Cleveland

The Woodland Hills neighborhood is about 2 miles south of University Circle, about 2 miles east of I-490, and about 1 mile west of Shaker Lakes Park and Larchmere. To get there by freeway, take I-90, I-77 or I-71 to I-490 East. The freeway will dead end into East 55th Street. Turn left onto E. 55th heading north a few blocks until you reach Woodland Avenue. Turn right on Woodland heading east for 2 miles until you reach Woodhill Road. You are now in Woodland Hills!

Coming from the north or south, take Martin Luther King Jr Drive to Woodland Avenue and head west. Coming from the east, Larchmere Blvd and Woodland Avenue are the same street once you cross MLK! Shaker Blvd is the most direct thoroughfare into the neighborhood from the east side.

Getting to the V2V Sites in Woodland Hills

The closest major intersection to V2V sites is Woodland Avenue & Woodhill Road. All V2V sites are just southeast of this intersection. The sites are also close to St. Luke’s Foundation and Harvey Rice Library and Elementary School, at the intersection of Shaker Blvd and MLK Jr Drive. Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Green Corps Buckeye Farm is a few blocks northeast of the V2V sites.

There is one stormwater park each on Crestwood, Hulda and Shale Avenue—all streets running parallel between Woodhill Road and E. 110th Street. Each park is located on the north side of the respective street, approximately halfway down each block.

The address for each site is:
- 10615 Crestwood Avenue / Active site with swing set
- 10607 Hulda Avenue / Passive site with birdhouses
- 10411 Shale Avenue / Active natural play area

You will notice bollard wood fence posts in front of each V2V site in Cleveland. Parking is readily available on the south side of each street. Feel free to bring along a copy of V2V site plans that help to illustrate and label the specific green infrastructure and design elements on site.

We advise driving around the blocks to reach the next site as they are long blocks, and strongly discourage cutting through vacant properties to get to the next street.


Download easy-to-print Cleveland directions and maps here!



Getting to the Neighborhood: Gary

The Aetna neighborhood is about 3 miles east of Downtown Gary and about 2 miles southwest of the Miller Beach neighborhood. It is bordered by Lake Street to the east, Highways 12 & 20 to the north, and I-90 to the south and west. To get there by freeway, it is best to take I-65 North or I-90 to the highway 12 & 20 exit, then head east on 12 & 20 for a couple miles.

Coming from Downtown Gary, simply head east on Highways 12 & 20. Then turn right onto Aetna Street, heading south into the neighborhood. Aetna is also accessible via Clay Street from the south, and East 15th Street from the southwest.

Getting to the V2V sites in Aetna

There are no major landmarks surrounding the Aetna neighborhood. Access on the northern border (Highways 12 & 20) is most recommended. The metro tracks border the other side of this state route. It is recommended to enter the neighborhood on Aetna Street, but Idaho, Clay and Lake Streets will also get you into Aetna.

There are two stormwater parks on Oklahoma Street, one block west of Aetna Street. Follow East 12th Street to its end and turn left onto Dakota to find the third Gary V2V location.

The address for each site is:
- 1035 Oklahoma Street / Mid-block gathering site
- 1200 Oklahoma Street / Corner gateway site with “A-E-T-N-A” signs
- 1252 Dakota Street / Mid-block general play site

Residential street parking is readily available throughout Aetna. The sites are walkable, especially those located on Oklahoma Street. Feel free to bring along a copy of V2V site plans that help to illustrate and label the specific green infrastructure and design elements on each site.


Download easy-to-print Gary directions and maps here!



Getting to the Neighborhood: Buffalo

Buffalo’s west side, where the PUSH neighborhood is located is about 1 mile south of Buffalo State, almost 2 miles northwest of Allentown, and lies between the Niagara River to its west and Elmwood Village to the east. The Peace Bridge to Canada is just southwest of the neighborhood. The closest freeway exit is off of I-190 at Front Park, which is at the base of the Peace Bridge.

Coming from downtown, simply take Niagara Street all the way northwest into the PUSH neighborhood. Ferry Street borders the area to the north and Richmond Avenue to the east.

Getting to the V2V sites on the West Side

While there are many ways to get to the neighborhood, getting around can be a little more tricky for a non-west sider. Many one way streets and off-grid street patterns make this part of the west side quite interesting! A map is certainly your friend when navigating here, even on foot.

Massachusetts Avenue is the main thoroughfare that links V2V sites in Buffalo. If you make it here, then you’re in great shape.

The address for each site is:
- 41-43 Lawrence Place / Active handball court site adjacent to Massachusetts Ave Park
- 247 Massachusetts Avenue / Active corner gathering site
- 608 West Utica Street / Passive corner rain garden site attached to community garden and picnic area with mural

Residential street parking is available throughout the PUSH neighborhood, but again be mindful of one way streets. The neighborhood has more vehicular and foot traffic than other V2V neighborhoods—so keep a head’s up. Sites are within walking distance, we definitely recommend that you take time to enjoy this great walkable community if you can!

Feel free to bring along a copy of V2V site plans that help to illustrate and label the specific green infrastructure and design elements on each site.



Download easy-to-print Buffalo directions and maps here!


We encourage you to visit and explore these sites in whatever city you may be in to get the full V2V experience. Please let us know what you think!


<< Back

Reader Comments

Submit your comment

* Name
* Email
* Your Comment
You have 300 characters remaining for your comment.