The Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land has some winners to announce.
It also has some losers.
TBVL ran a contest this summer encouraging city residents to photograph and submit images of the lots that have seen the most improvement, or the most negligence and deterioration. The deadline was Aug. 31.
Three winning lots were chosen in each category. A “best” lot and a “worst” lot are both located in the Kensington area.
The campaign, a coalition of 40 labor, community and faith-based groups including The Women’s Community Revitalization Project, will unveil the lots to the public Oct. 2 at 10 a.m. at the site of the “best” lot, 2400 N. Mascher St., at the corner of W. York Street.
That lot is one of a few that have been transformed into an “oasis,” according to Marcus Presley of the WCRP, by Norris Square-area resident Pearl Brown.
“These were really trashed lots, but she and her family got together and reclaimed them,” Presley said. “It’s really well-landscaped,” he added.
TBVL will award neighbors and activists associated with that lot and two other winning spaces $150 gift certificates to a to-be-determined hardware store to help continue to improve the lots.
Three other “worst” lots will also receive gift cards to a hardware store to help boost revitalization efforts.
One of those “worst” lots is at 1400 N. Front St.
That’s just one of the worst lots the campaign has seen. Star previously reported that TBVL estimates there are 40,000 vacant lots in the city.
“Some of them are so bad it’s actually a hazard,” Presley said.
The organization will help organize cleanups of the worst vacant lots in addition to providing the gift cards.
TBVL will award the gift cards and cleanup assistance to those who helped work on the best lots, and who might walk past or live next to the worst ones.
“We tried to make sure we chose folks and people directly affected by the lots,” Presley said.
Star Managing Editor Mikala Jamison can be reached at 215-354-3113 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.