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UB medical students to test green thumbs on Bailey Avenue

Medical students from the University of Buffalo will show their green thumbs Saturday as they join forces with Bailey Fights Blight to give street trees along Bailey Avenue a makeover.

Bailey Fights Blights is a neighborhood improvement effort in the University District that takes a hands-on approach to urban renewal. Since 2014, the project helped increase property values, create new partnerships, draw new business and fuel facade improvements and new signs, said Darren Cotton of the University District Community Development Association.

About 20 UB students regularly participate in the project as part of their school’s summer service program, Cotton said. On Saturday, they will be weeding and mulching street trees.

“We typically work with them each year,” said Cotton. “It gives the street more a sense of maintenance,” said Cotton. Mulch will be provided by the Bailey Avenue Business Association.

On Sunday, more volunteers will finish painting the backdrop of a building mural on the corner of Stockbridge Avenue and Bailey. It is part of a continuing effort to board up and secure vacant storefronts, incorporating public art as a way to beautify the neighborhood.

Artist Nicholas Miller, whose work is funded by the Art Service Initiative of WNY, hoped to finish the mural on August 13. The Stockbridge Avenue Block Club spearheaded the mural that will convey the concept “stocks on the rise” through geometric design.

Upcoming projects include facade improvements for six to seven deteriorating buildings along Bailey, said Cotton.

The success of Bailey Fights Blight has inspired a similar program on the far East Side called Fillmore Forward, said Cotton.

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