|The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Wells Fargo has recognized Mayor BJ Murphy and Kinston Teens for the Kinston Teens Adopt-A-Vacant Lot Program with its Small City Outstanding Achievement Award for the 2016 CommunityWINS grant program.
Mayor Murphy was recognized on Sunday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 84th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN and a $50,000 grant was awarded to Kinston Teens for its work, in partnership with the City of Kinston, to develop the Adopt-A-Vacant Lot Program
Currently, the City of Kinston owns over 1,000 vacant lots—many which are in residential areas. These lots are a strain on City resources, and contribute to neighborhood blight and disinvestment.
The Adopt-A-Vacant Lot program will allow churches, families, businesses, organizations, and others to “adopt” vacant lots and transform them into community amenities. These underutilized spaces present tremendous potential for neighborhood improvement.
Mayor BJ Murphy stated, “The City of Kinston and Kinston Teens are incredibly appreciative and honored to be a recipient of the CommunityWINS grant. This funding will allow us to develop an innovative, replicable initiative that will help Kinston realize the full potential of its most vulnerable areas and foster a more vibrant, healthy, and prosperous community. Additionally, we are grateful that this grant opportunity helps the City to further nurture and build the capacity of one of our most important community partners – Kinston Teens – an inspiring nonprofit organization created and led by local youth.”
“Kinston Teens is extremely proud to partner with Mayor Murphy and the City of Kinston for this great initiative for our community!” said Chris Suggs, founder & CEO of Kinston Teens. “Our organization prides itself in our efforts to form and build relationships with our local government, as well as our efforts to improve and beautify our city. Through the Adopt-A-Vacant Lot program, we look forward to doing both!"
We're excited about this new initiative for our community and can't wait to get it started! Please be on the lookout as we release more information about this program, as well as information regarding a local dedication and acceptance ceremony for the grant.