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"As we set up [a] land bank, we are also working to overhaul the City’s existing anti-blight ordinance and create and refine other tools for addressing problem properties. It was incredibly helpful for the team not only to hear an overview of what exactly a land bank is but also to hear how it works with other systems and tools to address vacant, abandoned, tax-delinquent, and foreclosed properties. "

Webinar Participant

Cornerstone Webinars

The Cornerstone Webinar Series is a FREE monthly lunchtime webinar series that equips participants with the building blocks to understand and solve tough challenges related to property vacancy, abandonment, and deterioration. These hour-long webinars offer participants the ability to learn about topics and tools related to revitalization with field experts. Webinars take place from 12:00-1:00pm EDT on the fourth Thursday of each month. Check below for more information on upcoming webinars:


October 2019 

Bringing Nature to Communities: The Role of Land Conservancies in Addressing Vacant Properties

October 24, 2019 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT |  Register Now >>

Michigan Central Railroad Saginaw River Bridge

Over the past five years, the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy (SBLC) has conducted a series of vacant land projects in the city of Saginaw, specifically looking to improve quality of life, build a stronger community, and help people connect with the natural world. Saginaw, in mid-Michigan, was one of the leading industrial cities during Michigan’s lumber and auto manufacturing heydays. With the decline in manufacturing industries, Saginaw faces continued disinvestment and significant problems with vacant properties – both structures and land.  In response to the significant need for vacant land management, SBLC made an intentional shift from focusing primarily on conserving rural natural spaces to bringing the natural world to urban spaces - meeting people where they live. SBLC’s success in leveraging partnerships and volunteer capital to tackle the challenges associated with urban land vacancy demonstrates how conservationists can partner with regional and municipal leaders to create unique solutions to vacant land. In this webinar, SBLC will discuss their motivation and strategies for working on vacant urban land, the projects they’ve developed, and the continued opportunities to develop innovative solutions for land-use issues in the region.

Presenters: Zachary Branigan, Executive Director, Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy; Ted Lind, Director of Community Conservation, Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy


Past Cornerstone Webinar Recordings


August 2019: Myth Busting Shared Equity Homeownership in Weak Market Cities 

Presenters: Beth Sorce – Director of Capacity Building, Grounded Solutions Network and India Walton – Executive Director, F.B. Community Land Trust


July 2019: Strengthening the Middle: Challenges and Strategies for Rebuilding Middle Neighborhoods 

Presenter: Alan Mallach - Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress


June 2019: LISC Safety & Justice – Collaborative Approaches for Safe Places

Presenters: Matt Perkins - Sr. Program Officer, LISC Safety and Justice; Bess Earl - Program Officer, Milwaukee LISC

May 2019: Beyond Clipboards: A Strategic Approach to Code Enforcement

Presenter: Karen Black - Principal, May 8 Consulting, Inc.

April 2019: Planting Refuge Violence Prevention Through Vacant Property Greening

Presenters: Alison Grodzinski, Managing Director - Prevention Research Center of Michigan/Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center, and Michelle Kondo, PhD, Research Social Scientist - USDA Forest Service, Philadelphia Field Station

March 2019: Land Banks and Land Banking 101 

Presenter: Tarik Abdelazim, Associate Director of National Technical Assistance, Center for Community Progress

February 2019: Communities at Risk: Understanding the Challenges Facing Middle Neighborhoods

Presenter: Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress


If you have any questions or topic suggestions for Cornerstone webinars, we want to hear them! Please contact Justin Godard at jgodard@communityprogress.net.


Support from Bank of America makes the Cornerstone webinar series possible.