For Vacant Lot Redevelopment
Free & Low Cost
These organizations have very useful information on their websites and their people are a wealth of advice and information. Some organizations charge for their services, many do not. ·
The City of Albany wants to see your vacant lot redevelopment efforts succeed https://www.albanyny.gov
Albany County Land Bank owns a large of number of vacant lots and buildings in Albany https://www.albanycountylandbank.org/
Radix Environmental Center is Albany’s best example of blighted property reclaimed for environmental benefit https://radixcenter.org/
American Community Garden Assoc.: https://communitygarden.org/) Gardening resources including Gardening with Seniors & People with Varying Levels of Ability, Love of Gardening + Volunteering, Garden How-To Manuals
Cornell Cooperative Extension offers free advice on gardening and soil sampling http://albany.cce.cornell.edu/agriculture
TAP Inc. is a non-profit architecture and planning office that can help guide you through the site plan design and approvals process. TAP fees are very reasonable. www.tapinc.org
Capital Roots: http://www.capitalroots.org/programs/urban-greening/urban-greening1/
A regional nonprofit organization with many resources related to gardening, growing food with community programs throughout the region. You can apply here to have a tree planted at your property!
Arts Center of the Capital Region: https://www.artscenteronline.org/
Display neighborhood artworks or team up w/ a local school or arts organization (check to organize temporary exhibitions at your space.
Men’s Gardening Club of Albany http://www.mensgardenclubofalbany.org/contact.html
A local resource in the City for support if you want to learn to garden.
Grant Programs and Fundraising Programs
Grant programs are often available for limited times, and sometimes are available only to qualified individuals or groups. Check these sources for current programs. Consider crowd-funding aps to raise money for neighborhood improvements
Albany County Land Bank – Spend a Little Get a Lot https://www.albanycountylandbank.org/salgal
Albany County Land Bank – Green to Own Program makes $900 available for development of vacant lots ·
Heinz Wholesome Memories Intergenerational Garden Award https://kidsgardening.org/grants/heinz.asp Fosters family-focused garden efforts by providing 57 families with the tools needed to embark on a successful gardening adventure that will foster lasting intergenerational memories while growing wholesome food.
Honey Bee Conservancy: http://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/sponsor-a-hive/ The Honeybee Conservancy Sponsor-A-Hive Grant –offers ten grants to provide bees, their homes (boxes), bee- keeping equipment, and an Educator’s Guide with lesson plans.
Katie’s Krops: http://www.katieskrops.com/start-a-garden.html
Grant to start vegetable gardens to donate produce to people in need.
The Awesome Foundation: http://awesomefoundation.org/
Awards $1,000 grants, no strings attached, to projects and their creators.
Fruit Tree Planting Foundation: https://www.ftpf.org/
Offers funding for community fruit orchards. There is no deadline to apply.
Seed Money: https://seedmoney.org/ is a program of Kitchen Gardeners International, is a crowdfunding site exclusively for food garden projects. They offer a combination of grant awards with a crowdfunding component.
IOBY: https://ioby.org/-- An environmental nonprofit, connects people to environmental projects in their own neighborhoods.
There are more resources available on the internet and at your local library than we can possibly list. Here are a few we find very user friendly:
Composting: Use your food scraps to improve soil + keep organic matter out of your landfill. Albany’s Radix Center is a great resource for many environmental stewardship activities https://radixcenter.org/our-sustainable-systems/compost/
Planting: Dozens of options for plant materials that are beneficial to the urban environment are described in this guide by Detroit Future City https://dfc-lots.com/lot-designs/
Soil Health: Be sure your soil is healthy for the use you propose http://soilhealth.cals.cornell.edu/
Rain barrels: Collect stormwater from your roof + use for irrigation, washing tools, etc. Read about at
http://www.rainbarrelguide.com/; Make your own rain barrel http://www.rainbarrelguide.com/how-to-install-rain-barrels/ and Albany County Soil & Water District offers low-cost rain barrels. http://www.albanycounty.com/Government/Departments/SoilandWaterConservationDistrict.aspx
USDA Your taxes at work! Take advantage of the US Department of Agriculture’s Urban Agriculture Tool Kit https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/urban-agriculture-toolkit.pdf
Rain Garden: Beautify your lot and help prevent flooding in your neighborhood. Albany County Stormwater Coalition http://www.stormwateralbanycounty.org/what-can-you-do/ has how-to videos and useful info about rain garden installation and maintenance.
Parking lots (greener options): Install a gravel surface rather than asphalt or concrete and incorporate rain gardens around the perimeter to collect run-off. (or bioswales -- https://www.soils.org/discover-soils/soils-in-the-city/green-infrastructure/important-terms/rain-gardens-bioswales
Play Areas: Make your own play lot https://www.parentmap.com/article/10-fun-backyard-play-space-ideas-for-kids
Free or Low Cost Resources
Time spent researching bargains will pay off in great finds, and useful connections
Arbor Day Foundation: Get 10 free flowering trees (when you join the Foundation for $10).
City of Albany: Free mulch/topsoil & compost is available for City residents. You will need a car and containers to pick up. http://www.albanynyrecycles.com/compost-facility/
Capital Roots: http://www.capitalroots.org You can apply here to have a tree planted at your property!
Albany County Soil and Water Conservation District: The Tree + shrub program offers a variety of seedlings/transplants, ground covers, and wildflower seed mixes at reduced rates. http://www.albanycounty.com/Government/Departments/SoilandWaterConservationDistrict/treeandshrub.aspx
Outdoor furniture, tools + supplies Check for Albany Freecycle regularly, Craigslist free listings, yard sales, Habitat ReStore, other thrift stores.
Solar panels: Help power your home check out the Affordable Solar Incentive Program from NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Playground equipment or look for opportunities for http://peopleof.oureverydaylife.com/organizations-donate-playground-equipment-5080.html.