The once vacant corner of Grant Street and Lafayette Avenue was recently transformed into an urban “Hope Garden” by several community organizations
Our Lady of Hope church, People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo) and Grassroots Garden collaborated with Niagara District Councilmember David Rivera to create this green space in hopes of revitalizing the corner. “Before we made this garden, this corner lot was little more than a patch of grass,” said Rivera. “When Our Lady of Hope approached me with the desire to turn it into more, we developed a plan and rather quickly put it into action.”
The official unveiling of the garden took place on October 14. Grassroots Garden and PUSH Buffalo put a great deal of their knowledge and work into the project. The church and the surrounding community hope to continue to work on expanding the garden over the course of the next year. According to Father George Kirwin of Our Lady of Hope, they will be adding murals to the garden to convey the diversity of the neighborhood that it rests in.
“To me this is only phase one of what we’re doing here on Grant Street,” said Rivera. “This neighborhood is coming back after years of bottoming out. We’re starting to see some enthusiasm.”
PUSH Buffalo will be working on constructing a series of these urban gardens throughout the city’s neighborhoods to help find a use for these vacant spaces. The organizations and the councilman’s office hope to keep this revitalization momentum going after taking this first step.