NewsPhoenix Metro NewsCentral Phoenix News


Community garden moves into vacant lot in Phoenix

Posted at 5:58 PM, Nov 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-02 21:55:04-04

A central Phoenix neighborhood is creating a community garden to fill a once-vacant lot.

Previously, the lot at 19th Avenue and Camelback Road was occupied by two drugs homes. Developers have since bulldozed them but an empty lot was all that was left behind

"Everywhere you go in the city, there are vacant lots everywhere," said Tom Waldeck.

Waldeck, is the organizer of Keep Phoenix Beautiful, the group behind this community garden.

That vacant lot is now a one-acre gathering place for the neighborhood. Waldeck would like to see other vacant lots look more like this.

"It makes about 40 percent of the real estate here in Phoenix. That number is probably a little lower now with all the development going on but still, everywhere you go in the city, there are vacant lots everywhere," he explained.

Right now in Phoenix, there isn't a penalty for developers to leave a property vacant. But Waldeck says there is a pay-off if to turn those empty lots into something usable in the meantime.

"We probably raised the property values here by about 20-percent in one day and probably decreased the crime rate in one day."

The garden is already popular.

The one-acre lot has about 50 garden bed available to neighbors to plant their own flowers and vegetables. There's already a waiting list.