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Alliance Services Program Update

Studies tell us that by cleaning up vacant urban land we can improve the health of the Blue River. When we use nature-based solutions to address blight in our city, we can improve community health and vitality by providing residents access to safe outdoor places for community building and recreation. Photo by Meghan Freeman.

As part of Heartland Conservation Alliance’s Restoring Vacant Lots Program, HCA continues working with the Palestine East neighborhood and their Community Advisory Board and Technical Advisory Group. Along with leadership and expertise from Vireo and The Center for Neighborhoods, the teams are developing a reuse plan for approx. 40-acres of forested and vacant land.

On Tuesday, June 7 HCA staff and members from the Community Advisory Board (CAB) and Technical Advisory Group (TAG) attended the Smart Sewer Public meeting. Attendees were welcome to make any comments, and expressed their questions and concerns with the Smart Sewer representatives. They also presented the two draft design concepts to demonstrate what the community envisions for the Palestine Corridor. The Smart Sewer Program representatives conveyed that they want to make a valid effort to implement green infrastructure that works with the designs the CAB has developed while still meeting their requirements for the EPA Consent Decree.

The Smart Sewer representatives are hosting a tour of the Palestine East vacant/forested lot including the proposed Smart Sewer green infrastructure sites and review other community needs and priorities such as water mains, trash, blight, housing, roads and sidewalks. HCA, CAB, and TAG members have been invited to attend this event.


The next Partnership Work Group meeting is to be determined. If you’re interested in joining the Work Group, contact Kristina Williams,

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