Community Groups Fighting Blight One Property at a Time 

Clean & Green Program Overview

The program began in 2004 as the Land Bank sought to partner with community-based organizations in order to advance community-based capacity, neighborhood health, youth engagement, the reuse of vacant land, and the Land Bank’s relationships with the community. Clean & Green is at the heart of the Land Bank’s community engagement. Block clubs, schools, churches, neighborhood associations and local non-profits are some of the roughly 100 community-based organizations who have participated in Clean & Green during more than a decade. Through the program, community-based groups seasonally maintain concentrated clusters of vacant properties. Each participating group receives a stipend for its maintenance work, much of which is used to employ local youth in improving their neighborhood conditions.

Program Purpose

Clean & Green is a program of the Genesee County Land Bank Authority that supports innovative community groups and organizations in the cleaning, maintaining, and beautifying of otherwise vacant properties in Genesee County. 

Program Goals

The Land Bank partners with community based groups to increase the capacity of community-based groups to care for vacant properties. To improve the appearance and health of neighborhoods by cleaning and greening. To engage youth in the cleaning, greening, and ultimately changing of their neighborhoods. To inspire rethinking and reimagining of the opportunities of vacant properties. To build lasting relationships between the Land Bank and the community.

Program Results & Accomplishments

Program Results - 2021
  • Maintained more than 3,700 vacant properties every three weeks in and around the city of Flint completing more than 30,000 vacant property “mowings” collectively
  • Engaged over 700 residents including 300 youth in improving their neighborhoods.
  • Contributed to eliminating blight in and around Flint valued at more than $1.5 million
Long Term Accomplishments Between 2004 - 2021
  • Over 7,400 area residents are estimated to have participated in Clean & Green, including more than 3,250 total area youth and more than 1400 employed area youth.
  • The Land Bank has invested more than $5.2 million directly into community-based organizations through Clean & Green.
  • Clean & Green groups have completed more than 245,000 vacant property mowing’s, valued at $12.2 million.
  • Nearly 600 vacant houses have been decoratively boarded by Clean & Green groups.
Clean & Green Groups Make Neighborhoods Safer

Clean & Green maintenance reduces crime according to research by the University of Michigan, Youth Violence Prevention Center. Clean & Green engaged areas compared to street segments with vacant, abandoned lots without community-engaged greening activities have: 30 percent fewer assaults, 40 percent fewer violent crimes overall, lower rates of child maltreatment and lower rates of youth gun violence

How to Apply to Participate in Clean & Green

The application period for The Land Bank’s 2022 Clean & Green program is now closed.

Program Requirements & Eligibility

The Land Bank annually selects community-based organizations for the Clean & Green program through a competitive application process. The number of groups selected depends on annual funding. Each group that is selected to participate is required to maintain at least 25 vacant properties between April and September. Each participating group receives a cash stipend to support its work. The value of the stipend for each group depends on the number of vacant properties the group maintains.

Clean & Green Groups Should Possess:
  • A strong connection to the neighborhood or area in which it will work
  • A commitment to engaging area youth
  • Experience in vacant property maintenance and reuse
  • The capacity to care for at least 25 vacant properties every three weeks, including all needed personnel, tools, and equipment
Program Timeline
  • January: Applications are released by the Land Bank
  • February: Applications are due
  • March: Participating groups are selected and applicants are notified
  • April: Program kicks-off
  • May: Starting in May properties are maintained every three weeks
  • September: Property maintenance concludes

Learn More About Clean & Green

Want to learn more about how community groups improve the appearance of the neighborhoods and provide jobs for local residents? Watch this 5-minute video about Clean & Green

For more information on Clean & Green contact Raynetta Speed, by phone at 810-293-0663 or e-mail cleangreen@thelandbank.org.