Sunday, May 20, 2012

Love Your Block: Peoplestown Neighborhood Clean-up

One of the best parts of being homeowners is loving our home and neighborhood.  We take pride in our home, want to protect it and continually to make it better.  Not every resident in our neighborhood feels the same way about their home.  Because of this lack of pride that some people have for the Peoplestown neighborhood, some of us neighbors have to step up and do more than others.  There are parts of the neighborhood that look horrible.  When guests drive by, I'm sure they're not impressed with what they're seeing.  It's also not a good look for house hunters who are drawn to the in-town neighborhood.  A possible new resident isn't going to buy the house next to an empty, over grown lot or buy a home after passing a street where the sidewalk is almost impassable because of overgrown bushes and weeds.

The Peoplestown Neighborhood Association, which Stephen and I participate in, received money from the Love Your Block program that gives money to neighborhoods to clean up problem areas.  We split into three teams and tackled three of the most important problem areas - across the street from our elementary school, a stretch of Hank Arron Drive that is the east border of the neighborhood and an empty lot that is surrounded by about 8 other homes.  The lot has been such a problem, this is the 3rd time the PNA has cleaned it up.

Stephen and I were in charge of the Hank Arron Drive, about 2 blocks worth of sidewalk.  This is how some of the sidewalks looked before our team got out there with rakes, shovels, weed killer and determination. 

Look at the trash and the dead leaves piled up.  If your not familiar with this road, it's leads right to Turner Field where the Braves play.  So many people drive up and down this road and it wasn't making a good impression.

Look at that, half the sidewalk is unusable because of the leaves.  Nice work City of Atlanta.  

It's not only the leaves on the ground, but weeds and vines from vacant lots are starting to take over the space as well.  You can barely see the sidewalk below.  One of the good parts about this area is how walkable it is - these sidewalks weren't helping.

So, a team of 6 of us headed out with our orange vests on and got to work.  After three hours of hard work you could actually walk down the sidewalk!  We filled more than 12 lawn and refuse bags from The Home Depot with lead leaves and everything else that we found while cleaning.  Some of the leaves had been there so long they had started to turn to dirt and there were so many bugs living there it shocked me.  I've never seen earth worms like the ones I saw on the sidewalk leaf piles.

Stephen took pictures while we were cleaning and of the finished product.  Three hours of work and we're very, very proud of what we were able to accomplish.  I wish we had been able to clean all day or had had a team of 10-15 people to tackle the area.  There was still a lot of work to do.

Don't you just love sidewalks that you can actually use?!  I'm so proud of all the work we did.  The other two areas that were cleaned also look amazing.  It's crazy what just one morning can do when you dedicate some time to cleaning up.  Some areas only needed a quick pass with the lawn mower.  That's it!  But for some homeowners that seems to be too much.  We drenched the weeds that were growing down to the sidewalk with weed killer, I can't wait to see all of them die!

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