Every day we drive by underutilized land, old gas stations, dead strip malls, decommissioned factories and we see them as blight, we see them as ugly, but we don’t necessarily see them as opportunities and that’s actually what they are. It takes resources, it takes specialized knowledge and it takes local champions to be able to turn those properties from liabilities into community assets. But it can be done and it is done regularly. It happens every single day in communities across the country. Our job at CCLR, is to help make that redevelopment possible and to help make it happen in more places, more often. Land recycling, also sometimes called brownfields redevelopment, is the process by which we return contaminated, underutilized or abandoned land to its highest and best use. At the Center for Creative Land recycling or sea clear (CCLR) we are a technical assistance to brownfields communities or TAB provider and what that means is that we’re funded by the US EPA to provide assistance to communities that need a little extra help, a little hand up, wherever they’re at, whether at the very beginning or down the line looking for funding. So we always encourage communities to give us a call if they have a question about land recycling because it’s not going to cost them anything thanks to this generous support from EPA. It is more difficult and typically more expensive to redevelop land that’s already been used. That land, however, is often well-connected to existing infrastructure and it’s located where people already tend to live. It’s cheaper and easier to move beyond existing city limits, but the long-term effects of that really end up costing us more, in terms of traffic and related air pollution. We have all kinds of data now that show us that filling in the vacant spaces in our communities is more ecologically and fiscally sustainable, and it also creates more vibrant walkable communities and that’s what so many of us want for ourselves and our children. One example of our work, which I’m particularly proud is around an affordable housing development located at a train station in Oakland California. We worked with Bridge Housing to help them secure over 37 million dollars in state funds and that made the cleanup of the former gas station and parking lot possible. Now we have a place for 90 families to be able to live and raise their children and it’s safe and it’s affordable and it’s accessible to transit into jobs. This is such a great story because it shows again how existing land, right under our noses, can be transformed into something that is even more valuable. This is our mission in action, helping create these community assets that are going to serve people in these cities across the United States for decades to come and we’re proud to be a part of it. So get in touch, check out our website, look at our land recycling 101 tutorial. We have lots of good resources to help you get started. Let’s figure out together how we can help you reclaim, connect and transform your community through land recycling.