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Turning a Once-Vacant Lot into a "Field of Hope" | News

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Turning a Once-Vacant Lot into a "Field of Hope"

BUFFALO, N.Y.- Larry Williams has big dreams for a vacant lot down the street from his house on Glenwood Avenue; he wants to turn it into a "field of hope."

"A clean neighborhood, with some productive things for kids to do," said Williams of his goal.

Over the past six years, Williams and a group of volunteers have been productive themselves. They've gotten the city of Buffalo to mow the lawn there, and they've secured corporate partnerships with Starbucks and Home Depot. The ultimate goal, Williams said, is to raise enough money to buy the lot and install baseball and football fields and another basketball court.

But even now, with just a basketball court and a small playground, Williams said he's seen an improvement over the years, in part due to the increase effort to keep the lot and the street

"We went from having screaming kids and yelling and fist-fights and gunshots to now ten o'clock at night it's quiet," said Williams.

But there is still a long way to go; a dilapidated vacant home bordering the park serves as an eyesore and a reminder, there is a rough road ahead.

"We would like to have some organized activities over here, where we have men in the community interact with kids and teach them how to become young men, and develop into productive young men," said Grady Davis, another volunteer and nearby resident working with Williams on the project.

Hands On Greater Buffalo has been helping coordinate volunteers to help with the transformation.

To watch the full story by Sarah Hopkins, click the video player above.






















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