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Environment & Energy

Akron Zoo and Habitat For Humanity's New Partnership Reclaims Items and Creates Greenspace

photo of ReStore homes

The Akron Zoo and Habitat for Humanity have a partnership that’s giving new life to remnants of old homes near the zoo.

The zoo and Habitat are deconstructing four homes in the neighborhood near the zoo: two last week and two more starting today. Any reusable pieces -- such as windows and cabinets – will be offered for sale at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Akron.

Zoo spokeswoman Linda Criss says the properties – obtained at sheriff’s sales – have more value in parts than as a whole.

"Most of the properties have blighted houses on them, so what will end up happening is those homes will be razed and create green space around the zoo and in the neighborhoods around the zoo."

Criss says the project is in line with the zoo's sustainability initiatives.

On sustainability

"We do a lot of things like composting, changing all our lighting out to LEDs, water conservation. Habitat -- with their ReStore and their efforts to get more life out of things that someone might view as being 'done,' someone else views as being a great item for them to use in fixing up their home."

Criss says the new partnership more zoo-owned properties could be reclaimed in the future.