Cleveland Pocket Prairie Project

Can vacant lots conserve biodiversity, provide our community with additional environmental benefits, and be beautiful neighborhood spaces?


The Cleveland Pocket Prairie Project is a network of 64 vacant lots planted with 8 distinct plant communities across 8 neighborhoods within the City of Cleveland.  By planting these distinct habitats on vacant lots, our goals are:

  • to examine the potential of vacant land to address biodiversity loss,
  • to examine the potential of vacant land to address an unequal distribution of greenspace, and
  • to create options for long term vacant land management.

As they establish, these pocket prairie habitats enhance the beauty of neighborhoods while providing habitat for beneficial wildlife including insect pollinators and predators that consume pest insects. One site of each plant community can be found within one neighborhood or two adjacent neighborhoods. Look for the pocket prairies in Buckeye, Central, Detroit Shoreway/Stockyard, Fairfax, Glenville, Hough, Slavic Village, and Tremont/Clark Fulton.

Go to the Project Details and Our Research pages for more about the purpose of the Cleveland Pocket Prairie Project, the plant communities established within our vacant lots, and research studies measuring biodiversity and ecosystem services.

(Banner photograph courtesy of MaLisa Spring.)

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1253197.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.