Meadow forming on an empty contaminated lot

The Abandoned and Contaminated Lot Up the Street

I live in a densely populated fairly urban-suburban area.  Houses, most built in the 1920s, are close together on 50′ x 100′ lots.  New York City is 25 miles east.  My street starts on our town’s Main Street.  There used to be a gas station there whose ancient tanks sprung a leak and the site was shut down and  ‘cleaned up’ to the tune of millions of dollars.  Now there is a Dunkin’ Donuts where the gas station used to be.

Meadow forming on an empty contaminated lotBehind and adjacent that misspelled testament to obesity in America is an abandoned, contaminated lot. Collateral damage.  It used to have a house on it.  Now it has wildflowers (most will call them weeds) and wildlife among the 10+ testing stations for subterranean pollution.  I hope they don’t mow it and allow it to start to heal itself.

Wildflowers in an abandoned lot



6 thoughts on “The Abandoned and Contaminated Lot Up the Street

  1. We had a similar site near us, and for similar reasons. Thankfully, the City gave up on trying to rehabilitate it for building purposes and turned it into a parkette. Not quite as wild, but at least not a doughnut shop.

  2. Disturbed areas are so often misunderstood. An area along a roadway in our area underwent modification about 12 years ago. The area was finally starting to stabilize and was well on the way to healing, when the local municipality decided they did not like the appearance of the area and cleared the embankment of the Cedars, Sumac and Maples that were colonizing and stabilizing the bank. Instead a grove of Colorado Blue Spruce were given to the township as a gift and now the space around these young trees requires weekly mowing. You would think at this point in the green movement that we would be enlightened to these simple but profound errors, but indeed they remain. Thanks for the post.

  3. I’d love to turn it and the other empty lot a few blocks away into pocket parks.

  4. I was crestfallen last week when the state mowed the rough grassy area along the westbound ramp from 78 to Vauxhall. I stopped there in traffic each afternoon on my commute and loved watching the seedheads dance in the breeze.

    What are the main species that are taking over the contaminated lot?

  5. Brian- The species that are in the empty lot are what most would call opportunistic weeds – feverfew, clover, achillea, plantain, dandelions, various grasses. If it remains un-mowed, which I highly doubt, others will find their way including trees.

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