Creating Life-Bearing Spaces
If you are interested in creating a life-bearing space in your neighborhood, download our booklet, One Vacant Lot at a Time, and learn more about our story, our management plan, and methods we have developed.
“Seeing native wildflowers fills my heart. So, being able to help take an empty strip of land and watch its hard, dry soil become looser, darker and richer after the very first wildflowers, was magical.” Veronica Smith
“Creating a thriving prairie out of a wasteland has been a wonderful education in land transformation. It’s also shown me a way to give back to the planet that does not bring immediate benefit to me, but provides a long term benefit for the health of the local environment.” Michael Smith
It was in 1993 that we first started working at our vacant lot. There was garbage littered everywhere and the land was hard-scrabble. We started small 30’ x 60 feet, and all of the work was done using pick-axes. The dominant plants were leafy spurge, Canada thistle, and ragweed, all indicators of extreme neglect of the land.
I did not know that the land would take on a life of its own, when it was given a caring human touch. Lawrence Wade
For 20 years we have been restoring this land that is sandwiched between a busy roadway in Minnetonka, Minnesota and a bike path. So people walking by can see what we are doing. Some people stare at us suspiciously or in disbelief when they see us working in such a “weedy” lot. The most classic comment ever made was on an evening when we were swatting mosquitoes and pulling Canada thistle. The passerby looked down at us and said, “What are you doing down there, do you know?”
In time we expanded the scope of the prairie. Today it is about an acre in size and is a source of food for bees, birds, rabbits, dragonflies, butterflies, and small mammals. Ducks and deer have nested among the plants. Now it has reached a point of aliveness and vibrancy that still requires some tending and weeding, it has a life of its own and the beauty continues to amaze us.
Friends of the Trail Photo Gallery