The University Heights Tool Library was selected this summer as one of Planet in Action’s community partners to receive an in-kind donation of Troy-Bult lawn and garden equipment. Planet in Action, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the work of community improvement organizations across the nation and across the globe, offers material support to its local partners to help them to invest in and beautify their community during Planet In Action’s “Do It America” community activation and improvement program.
Thanks to the gift of a Troy-Bilt String Trimmer, the Tool Library will continue to build on the many volunteer-driven community improvement projects taking place in the city, including Bailey Fights Blight. The Tool Library, whose $20 membership gets people access to thousands of tools, in one of the partners behind Bailey Fights Blight, a community-based project working to improve public spaces and re-imagine vacant or underutilized properties on Bailey Avenue. Through neighborhood cleanups, community gardening, and public art, Bailey Fights Blight is making a targeted and measurable difference in redeveloping one of Buffalo’s major East Side commercial corridors.
Since 2014, the University Heights Tool Library has worked closely with the Bailey Avenue Business Association and other partners to organize cleanups on Bailey Avenue, remove graffiti, weed and mulch tree pits, and securely board and paint the facades of over 15 buildings along Bailey Avenue. These basic community improvement projects have correlated with significant uptick in economic activity on Bailey Avenue including a 600% increase in business licenses issued between 2011 and 2015 as well as a 40% reduction in blighted buildings. Three large scale murals now dot Bailey Avenue’s streetscape and a major façade improvement grant has been secured for the corridor.
Through the support of Planet in Action and Troy-Bilt, the Tool Library now has a brand new string trimmer in its inventory that can be used during Bailey Fights Blight cleanup days and on other neighborhood impact projects.
“All too often the focus is on big ticket development projects across the city, yet it is these small, incremental improvements made over the course of years that can lead to significant improvements in quality of life for existing residents and businesses,” said Darren Cotton, Director of the Tool Library.
The Tool Library isn’t alone in its mission of community empowerment. In 2017, over one million volunteers will come together to make their communities cleaner, healthier and safer with the support of Planet In Action and its Sponsors and Partners. “Our Community Partners rally volunteers to focus on their local Green Bucket List, and address the unmet community improvement needs of their local neighborhoods,” said Planet In Action CEO and Chief Mission Leader Gail Cunningham.
By increasing a community’s capacity for self-improvement through hands-on volunteerism, Planet in Action and Troy-Bilt are helping the Tool Library transform blighted properties and plant the seeds of urban regeneration.
About Planet In Action
Planet In Action is a private, nonprofit, designed to complement and support the ongoing work of community improvement organizations and other service organizations, both in the US and other selected international locations. Our Mission is to help improve and sustain the planet community-by-community, by utilizing local activation, essential tools and high technology to catalyze, excite and intensify the activities of volunteers worldwide to achieve measurable local impact. For more information, visit www.planetinaction.org.
In 1937, Troy-Bilt introduced the first American-made rototiller and since then has expanded its legendary expertise and durable product line to create a complete selection of the industry’s finest lawn and garden tools. The company’s award-winning product line includes top-quality tractors, mowers, tillers, cultivators, trimmers, snow throwers and other outdoor power tools. Troy-Bilt machines are built to last and engineered to take on the toughest challenges to make jobs simpler and safer. Headquartered in Valley City, Ohio, and with multiple manufacturing locations across the country, including Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, Troy-Bilt is committed to the communities it’s a part of and keeping America working as hard as it can. For more information, visit troybilt.com.
About the Tool Library
The Tool Library is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to provide communities with the tools they need to create the change they want. A membership to the Tool Library gives individuals, organizations, and businesses access to an inventory of thousands of tools for one small annual fee. Members can borrow tools on an as-needed basis, attend workshops, volunteer for service events, and participate in community projects. From learning to drywall and starting a garden, to planting trees and painting public art, the Tool Library combines direct service with the sharing economy to encourage civic engagement and volunteerism. For more information, visit www.thetoolibrary.org.