Local Youth transforming vacant lots into gardens in Rochester

Local News

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – What was once an empty lot, is being transformed. It’s on the corner of Joseph Avenue and Langham Street in Rochester.  

The project is called “Community Blooms” and vacant lots are changed into gardens that have beautiful flowers, a garden path and native plants. But the program does much more, it helps at-risk youth gain real-life work experience. 

Morgan Barry started the project in the Josana Neighborhood, with one vacant lot and eight girls. 

Now, a total of 18 kids are working on both sides of the city, over two acres of land growing and selling flowers locally. The project has the support of the City of Rochester and businesses along the Joseph Avenue corridor. 

According to Rochester’s proposed 2034 Comprehensive Plan, there are about 5,000 vacant parcels of land in the city, and about 2,500 of them are city-owned.  They hope to fill the majority of them with greenspace and work with organizations like “Community Blooms.” Organizers say the project enriches the neighborhood and hopes people can enjoy nature’s many benefits. 

Community Blooms is working with the New York Nature Conservancy, they’re studying how integrating green space can help an urban community grow. 

The kids will be selling custom-made bouquets at Wegmans and the Rochester Public Market starting this Saturday.

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