CLEVELAND: An Ohio State professor has received a nearly $1 million federal grant to study vacant lots in Cleveland and ways to manage them and create green spaces.

Entomologist Mary Gardiner, who researches and studies insects at Ohio State’s Columbus and Wooster campuses, says the grant will also help her develop a biology curriculum for middle and high school students

The Plain Dealer newspaper of Cleveland reports Thursday that the $909,200 grant from the national Science Foundation will also help Gardiner study how diverse plant communities affect insects.

The five-year project involving 64 vacant lots in eight Cleveland neighborhoods also aims to improve the ecological quality of the areas and turn them into living laboratories.