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Paving The Way

July 29, 2022 Projects

In the Secor Gardens neighborhood, we're paving the way to better things.

Although we work in every part of Lucas County, the Land Bank has long known that making focused neighborhood investments is the best way to support a high quality of life. Through our RISE Neighborhoods effort, we have chosen the Secor Gardens neighborhood in Toledo as one of those places.

RISE was launched in the neighborhood in early March 2020 - right before the pandemic! Although that emergency slowed everyone down initially, it didn't interrupt the need for vacant property renovation and homeowner repairs. By connecting with neighbors, we were able to learn about some of the challenges in the neighborhood and opportunities for the Land Bank to help.

One of those neighbors is Phyllis Bond (pictured above with her daughter, Loganne), who has lived in her home on Downing Street for 41 years. Phyllis raised both of her children in the home, and now she's raising her grandkids and great-grandkids there too. According to Phyllis, "the home might be small, but we've spent a lot of good time here."

Over the years, time had aged and weather had damaged her asphalt driveway. Phyllis was worried that it made her house look shabby and distracted people from the beautiful flowers and garden she maintains. Even worse, a failing driveway can cause water leaks in the foundation, jeopardizing the stability of her house.

But with help from the Land Bank through RISE, Phyllis was able to install a brand-new concrete driveway. With a path that leads right to her garage, a slope that pulls water away from her foundation, and a walkway right up to her front door, it added value to her property and made an already charming home even more so.

"This change has given us so much energy, and it made the whole house better. No matter what I did, we had this old driveway that didn't look good. Now, people drive by and compliment me!" said Phyllis.

Even better, after getting to know Phyllis and her family, we learned that the Land Bank had also sold another house down the block to her son, Joseph. After the Land Bank replaced the roof, Joseph and his son are working to finish the renovation of the formerly vacant and blighted property. Soon, it will be their permanent home, right down the street from where Joseph grew up.

Great neighborhoods are places where families live and love and thrive. Working together with neighbors like Phyllis, Joseph, and Loganne, generational investments are underway.