I just found out about an interesting program that the city of Rockford has that actually rewards homeowners.  It's called "Mow to Own".

According to the the Rockford Register Star, Mow to Own is a program through the city that will reward current homeowners the vacant property next to them if they maintain it for 3 years.

Wow did you know that?

It started back in 2015. The program isn't just for homeowners. It's also open to neighborhood nonprofits as well.

Currently, there are only 8 participants in the program but there are 63 properties in Rockford that are available to be part of this.

The lots that are mostly on the west side of Rockford in the areas between 10th Street, 19th Ave, the City limit and Auburn Street. The city sends letters out every year to businesses and homeowners that are next to these properties to invite them to participate in the program.

How you would go about earning and owning that property is by maintaining the lot. Mowing, Trimming shrubs, trees, raking, ect... Each type of tasks is awarded a dollar value by the city. For instance if your mow the lot one time it's $25. The allotment for mowing is $375. The market value the city assigns to each lot is $450. Each time you do something to keep the lot looking nice it adds up and your on your way to owning it once you reach $450.

Wow! That is so cool. Now that is a really creative way to keep the city looking nice, discouraging vermin, weeds and crime on vacant lots and rewarding those who take care of it with that very same property.

All this time I had no idea this was going on.

If you'd like to find out more about the program and the available properties call teh city at 779-348-7420 or email rachel.benson@rockfordil.gov