The City of St. Louis is welcoming back Fresh Coast Capital to begin planting a tree farm on 42 parcels of vacant property owned by the City's Land Reutilization Authority (LRA), the oldest land bank in the country.
In accordance with the Mayor's Sustainability Action Agenda on Urban Character, Vitality & Ecology, LRA has made the parcels available for just $1 to Fresh Coast Capital for its smart, productive, creative re-use of the land.
"I'm happy to see these new trees going in to begin breathing new life into some of our vacant and abandoned land," Mayor Slay said. "Fresh Coast's urban tree farms will turn 42 unused lots from a liability that costs the City thousands of dollars a year to maintain to an asset for the community. This innovative reuse of land will create a more sustainable, resilient neighborhood."
Fresh Coast Capital's crews has already begun planting hybrid poplars in the Wells Goodfellow neighborhood at the corner of Clara and St. Edwards Avenues.
The creation of this urban tree farm is another piece of Mayor Slay's concentrated effort to tackle vacancy and abandonment:
- Selection into the Community Progress Leadership Institute has provided technical assistance to the City.
- Mow to Own allows City residents to take immediate ownership of vacant LRA-owned parcels adjacent to their property if the resident agrees to continually maintain the lot. To date, 62 people have been granted free side lots.
- Last December, the City announced its partnership with MSD to demolish roughly 1,600 of the worst abandoned buildings. Demolitions begin this fall.
- Two AmeriCorps teams also have been working with Mayor Slay's new Vacancy & Blight Taskforce, a public-private partnership made up of City employees, non-profits, residents and developers.