CHICAGO — A land giveaway in Englewood is helping give vacant lots new life.

On Saturday, there were celebrations of ownership and future plans for safe spaces for young people and community gardens, in Englewood.

“I’m a designer, artist, educator,” Eric Hotchkiss said. “The plan is to build a community kitchen that does all of that.”

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle officially handed over the deeds for dozens of vacant lots to recipients selected for last year’s Juneteenth giveaway by the Cook County Land Bank Authority in partnership with the Resident Association of Greater Englewood, or R.A.G.E.

“Basically what they’ve tried to do is take land and buildings that others have found without value and turn them into community assets,” Preckwinkle said.

It’s another effort to bring community-inspired transformation to areas that have endured disinvestment.

“It’s about making it a level playing field,” Bridget Gainer, a Cook County commissioner said.

The Inner-City Muslin Action Network is already using one lot for a pop-up space across the street from the Go Green Community Fresh Market and 63rd and Racine.