Flint, MI—The Genesee County Land Bank’s Clean & Green program application process opened Jan.27 and will run through Feb. 25, 2022.

The program provides funding for community groups to maintain clusters of 25 vacant lots held by the GCLB from April through the end of September, depending on weather conditions. 

The selected groups are asked to care for their cluster of properties every three weeks and receive a minimum of a $3,000 stipend for their efforts.

“If you have some spare time or if you would like to make a contribution to the quality of life for the citizens of the City of Flint or Genesee County, this is the program that can help you do that,” said Reynetta Speed, Community Relations Manager for the Genesee County Land Bank.

Speed said that some groups have been part of the program since its inception in 2004, but she has also seen many younger people get involved recently.

“I was so impressed a couple of years ago when we had this group of young men, the team leader was only 24 years old,” she said, later estimating he may have been as young as 22. “And at that time when he was accepted into the program with his team members, there were five generations in this program.”

Speed made sure to note that Clean & Green does have specific requirements for its participants. 

“First of all, you have to be a community based organization,” she said. “You have to be a non-profit, block club, neighborhood association, or church. You cannot be a business.” 

Speed said this is because the program will not provide stipend funds to a personal bank account.

“Number two, you have to have your own equipment,” Speed added. Though she noted the program does provide some supplies, including t-shirts, signs, masks and hand sanitizer, at a drive through orientation in April.

Last year, Clean & Green began with 69 groups, though four eventually needed to stop participating for health and safety reasons. 

Speed said the amount of participants depends on the program’s funding, which was recently bolstered by a $267,400 grant from the Ruth Mott Foundation, marking the 10th year in a row the Foundation has contributed to the program.

“Clean & Green is critical in helping north Flint residents access resources and support in neighborhood blight elimination efforts,” Raquel Thueme, Foundation president, said in a press release about the grant. 

According to the GCLB’s 2021 Annual Review, last year the Clean & Green program maintained 5,000 parcels, completed 30,000 “mowings,” and removed 50 dumpsters-worth of debris.

Applications for the Genesee County Land Bank’s Clean & Green program are open until Feb. 25, 2022 at 3:30 p.m. 

More information and application links for new and returning Clean & Green participants can be found here.

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Kate Stockrahm

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....

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