BUFFALO, N.Y. - Sometimes an idea can be costly to implement, but a community in Buffalo has found a way to make improvements on a shoe string budget thanks to good neighbors.
John Howell wrote us about several members of the Oxford Square Block Club: (They) have devoted a tremendous amount of time caring for a lot that was given to the neighborhood by Kaleida Health when the Gates hospital campus was closed. It is a former parking lot on the corner of Lafayette and Oxford. The block club can't afford to tear up the pavement, so instead we have beautified the paved lot and made it an urban garden and playground. Olga Ruiz and Linda Lover have literally spent whole days working in the lot on a regular basis... They give their time, spend a lot of their own money, and continue to treat this lot as if it's their own, for the benefit of the neighborhood.
2 On Your Side's Theresa DeLuca spent some time with Olga and Linda at the lot see what they've accomplished.
Olga explained that it was a dumping ground for snow and when the snow would melt it would be full of trash. So now that they can work on the lot, they've helped turn it into an urban garden and play area for the neighborhood children. It's not always been an easy road with vandals at work too, but the members of the Oxford Square Block club are determined, and they encourage others to work to improve their community.
Linda Lover says, "Go for it. You know we had zero funds to work with just about at first, but then once we got started people just come. They see you working and they want to help or they have something to donate."
If you are inspired to start a block club in your neighborhood, the city of Buffalo has information on their website that can help.