Color the Creek & Pop-Up Art
Since 2016, the CCLBA has partnered with the innovative Color the Creek festival to bring murals to some of its Battle Creek properties. The Sojourner Truth mural on the east side of 17 W Michigan and the concrete wall at the corner of Capital Ave SW and Goguac in 2017 are two of the Land Banks most recognizable projects. The endeavor continued with the 2018 festival where the rear of 17 W Michigan was transformed by a calligraphic mural. Additionally, in an attempt to stretch the activating vacant space concept, the Land Bank mounted two panels from festival artists and created a “Before I Die” wall at the lot across Cliff St from the Dairy Queen. This interactive installation was well received, and the second iteration of interactive art is in place. Current features are two selfie-backgrounds and “Happiness Is…”. Feedback has been positive for these interactive moments as an improvement to the vacant lot. Another opportunity for public art arose in 2021, when a Black Lives Matter mural was created by residents in Battle Creek. Later that year, the property came to the Land Bank which is honored to steward this property and its public art.
In 2017 a group in Albion organized and officially became the non-profit organization Albion Community Gardens, Inc. This group leased four CCLBA properties and set to work creating viable and productive gardens.
In 2018, the group furthered their commitment, purchasing the lots from the Land Bank and are working together to provide fresh vegetables and an opportunity to come together for their neighbors and friends.
Another group of gardeners, the Vision of Life Action Team, followed the same pattern of formalizing their organization, leasing property from the Land Bank and then purchasing thereafter. This group works on the north side of Albion on lots that are an extension of their church campus.