Building a Message: Let's Remodel this Vacant Lot

A view of the empty lot which sits between two apartment houses. | Photo: JAMS
Youth Voices is working with students from the Los Angeles River School to re-imagine the L.A. River and the surrounding communities as part of the Northeast Los Angelels Riverfront Collaborative. The students have formed teams to explore and investigate their communities, map assets, collect and share stories, data and community input for their projects. All the while they are learning and expanding their knowledge of digital media and civic engagement. Follow their work here and on Instagram and Twitter @JAMS_LARIVER or by using #kcetyv.


Our community cause to revitalize a vacant lot on Chapman St. is important to our team because we want to help people feel comfortable in their own community, and make it a healthy place for kids. We also want to influence kids so they believe they can have a voice to change their community.

The overall response to our project from the community was friendly, and everyone seemed very interested. Many residents seemed willing to participate to make a change.
We learned that with just a few people you can make change happen.

We did make some slight changes to our final plan. We changed the final plan from being only a community garden to one that was half garden, half park. We made this change after the NELA Open House when we worked with landscape architects to fine tune our ideas. The lot is very big. We saw that it could include different activities for people to use.

The solution we found to improve the community was that we should make our community look better because the well-being of its residents will go up and people won't be as afraid to communicate with each other.

We are not sure about our next steps. If we do get accepted to make a change we would encourage people to help, and we would also start a fundraiser to save money for the materials needed. Other members of the community could get involved by giving design ideas, staying in touch, or pitching in a little money to contribute to the cost.

From this cause we learned that we do have a voice to change things we do not like in our community. It is also good to work as a team because everyone's ideas are great.

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Compiling the Evidence: Solutions to the Vacant Lot

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Making Connections: Getting to Know the Students

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