Take Back St. Louis Holds Press Conference on Vacant Land

Take Back St. Louis Campaign Holds Press Conference About Vacant Land

Ballot Initiative Would Required Increased City Investment for Sustainability on Vacant Lots

IMG_2588.JPGST. LOUIS - Today, members of the Take Back St. Louis campaign gathered on vacant lots on the 5100-block of Delmar to
announce the Take Back St. Louis initiative’s formal place on the April 8th ballot. The group displayed “vision boards” that were placed on five vacant lots across the city this past week to solicit community ideas for what vacant lots could become with proper development dollar investment. 

“These vision boards were set up to ask the question: what if we invested tax dollars here? We know that communities with vacant lots have plenty of ideas for what these lots would become. The Take Back St. Louis initiative would redirect development dollars towards these lots to make green jobs a reality,” said Reginald Rounds, trained in green technology. 

The Take Back St. Louis initiative will end tax incentives (such as TIFs and abatements) to unsustainable energy producers and require the city to create a sustainable energy plan that invests money in and opens land for renewable energy and sustainability initiatives. The city of St. Louis holds over 10,000 lots of vacant land and dilapidated buildings through the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) and the Land Clearance and Redevelopment Authority (LCRA).  

“These vacant lots hurt our property values, and they contribute to crime. We need these lots to become urban gardens and other projects to create green jobs,” said Joretta Wilson, Walnut Park East resident.



In addition to gardens, the results of the “vision boards” that were put up found that other residents in neighborhoods with a high

number of vacant lots want: food stores, greenhouses, solar arrays, playgrounds, skate parks, job placement center, math and science education center and open schools. 

“Urban gardens are an important way to reuse land, to grow fresh and healthy food and to give residents control of land,” said Ann Johnson with New Abundance Farm in Old North St. Louis. 

The Take Back St. Louis campaign will continue the vision boards project with funding received from Sloup, a community arts monthly fundraiser, to 25 boards across the city. 

Take Back St. Louis is a ballot initiative put forth by St. Louisans for a Sustainable Future. More information and the full text of the initiative can be found at www.TakeBackStLouis.com.



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