Diane’s Land

This post comes from Jarrett and Diane, of Diane’s Land.

Diane’s Land is a brand new project of Clean Air, founded this summer, but it’s been in the works for a long time.

Residents on Peabody Street in Seneca Babcock spent years organizing against Battaglia Demolition, an illegally operating cement crushing facility that filled our neighborhood with silica dust and cement, and tore up our residential street with huge trucks. We spent summers inside with our windows closed, because the air wasn’t safe for us to breathe in our own backyards. In April 2018, we won: Battaglia Demolition was ordered to close.

We were excited and relieved, but still had a long road ahead of us: nearly three years later, the property still sits, now abandoned, a home for illegally-dumped garbage and rats.

We deserve better than abandoned land. Our neighborhood has been exploited and neglected for too long. We created Diane’s Land because we are fighting to take over the abandoned land and transform it into a remediated, community-owned Land Trust. Diane’s Land was named in a vote by Peabody Street residents to honor Diane, a longtime neighborhood leader in our work, who has fought for all of us for many years, and who continues to lead us forward.

We have had a busy 2020: we officially established Diane’s Land as a new organization, did deep learning on the history of the site and the environmental and health risks it poses, different options for remediation, and different legal pathways for acquiring the site. It’s been a long, hard fight for many years, and we’ve got more battles ahead of us, but we are building the path forward with a powerful vision: transforming a derelict property from a symbol of neighborhood harm to peace, quiet, community and possibility.

We’re writing to ask you to invest in this work, and this fight, in 2021. For the next three and a half weeks, every dollar you give will be matched, so your donation will go twice as far. Will you make a matched gift to Clean Air today?

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