Local groups raise money mowing vacant lots

cclbaPress Releases

Monday, October 26, 2015
Contact: Jen Flood, Byrum & Fisk Communications, (517) 333-1606

Land Bank Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance Program called “huge success”

BATTLE CREEK—As the first year of the Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance Program wraps up,
the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority and local community groups are calling the program a
huge success.

“Everyone benefits through the Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance Program—neighborhoods are
improved, local groups earn money and we conserve taxpayer dollars,” said Land Bank Board Chair
and County Treasurer, Christine Schauer. “I’m proud of the creative partnerships we’ve forged to
support local neighborhoods and improve properties throughout Battle Creek.”

The following groups participated in the program:
· Battle Creek Griffon Rugby Football Club
· Southwest Michigan Community Impact Association
· Golden Star Temple #951
· Project Hope Ministries
· Second Missionary Baptist Church

“Through the Neighborhood Mow and Maintenance Program, Southwest Michigan Community Impact Association maintained 40 nearby lots and earned a stipend that will allow us to pay for legal
filings,” said Rev. Joe Hooper. “We also have the resources to invest in mowing equipment so we
can add to our mowing crew and care for even more lots next year. We are so proud that we’re able
to do our part improving neighborhoods and give back to the community that supports us.”

The Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance Program provides opportunities for groups to earn funds
for neighborhood organizations, youth group activities, nonprofit events and other community
efforts by mowing and maintaining vacant properties owned by the Land Bank. This year’s
participants mowed 200 lots in the City of Battle Creek. The success of the first year experience and the knowledge gained from the pilot is driving the Land Bank staff to improve the program for the
2016 season.

“Those of us that make up Griffon Rugby appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Land Bank
to improve our community,” said Chris Jones, Battle Creek Griffon Rugby Football Club Social
Director and Treasurer, as well as a primary mower this year. “Giving back is a primary focus for our
organization. We want to be a positive force in our area. The Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance
Program was a way for us to give through service and, with the stipend, it allows us to sponsor
other community driven activities. It was a win-win for us and we will definitely be back next year.”