WARREN - Efforts by a local group in memory of a Warren man are to turn vacant properties in the city into colorful, flower-covered areas.
The group, known as Gregg's Garden, has plans to turn the corridors on Elm and Atlantic streets into gardens.
Dennis Blank, project coordinator, said many people are part of the project and the city and county are both very helpful. He said the group has been working with Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership with work started at the street island at Summit Street and Elm Road near Harding High School.
More than 30 people attended a recent informational meeting held at the Mocha House.
The group's theme is ''Making Warren More Beautiful One Lot at a Time.''
Michael Robertson, a member of the group, said planting this season will allow for the full bloom of plants next year.
Blank said the Elm Road and Summit Street corner property is a very heavily traveled area, allowing for good visibility. There are visions for bigger things, such as more gardens along Atlantic Street, a major east-west route.
"Two-thirds of every car coming into Warren travels on Atlantic Street. It is a critical artery in Warren,'' Blank said.
Blank and Roberston said a goal is to change the weeded vacant lots with parks filled with wildflowers and native plants that thrive in northeastern Ohio climates. The first dozen gardens will be planted this spring on the western end of Atlantic Street, replacing vacant weeded and litter-covered lots.
Blank said the gardens will be professionally prepared and planted and overseen by certified Ohio Master Gardeners.
Blank said there are many abandoned and unsalable properties that can be transformed into wildflower gardens.
"The wildflower gardens will not only brighten the lives of Warren residents, but they will put Warren's best face forward for visitors as well," he said.
The idea was inspired by Gregg Snyder, who died in 2011 and who loved Warren and wanted it to be a more beautiful place.
Robertson said cleanup efforts are needed in certain corridors of the city.
Blank said there are volunteers helping with the beautification effort which also will be an economic development effort.
The vacant lots are being provided by the city and Trumbull County Land Bank at no cost.
For more information, visit www.gregggarden.org.