Neighborhood cleanup initiative focuses on one lot at a time

Posted June 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Micah Wilkins
Northeast News
June 17, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Stacey Feitz has lived at E. 10th Street and Oakley Avenue for almost a decade.

For years, she’s watched the property across the street from her home get worse and worse. She said the lot, which used to have a house on it before it burned down, just sits there, abandoned, accumulating trash and becoming overgrown with weeds.

“I got tired of sitting around and looking at problems and not doing anything about it,” Feitz said.

So this Saturday, June 21, Feitz is leading a Sheffield neighborhood cleanup, but instead of tackling the whole area at once, the cleanup is focusing on two properties in particular, at 1000 and 1009 Oakley Ave.

“If you do it all at one time, it’s too much, it’s overwhelming,” Feitz said. “If we concentrate on a couple properties at a time, it lets people see the change.”

Feitz will provide tools, snacks and refreshments throughout the clean-up, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers are encouraged to stop by at any time to help. The cleanup is still in need of an additional mower, a truck, gloves, hand pruners and chairs. This is the first cleanup lead by Feitz, and she hopes to continue to have them monthly, focusing on a new lot or two each month.

“There’s a lot of vacant land in Sheffield [Neighborhood], a lot of places where the houses have been torn down,” Feitz said. “There’s a lot of areas that could be used for something good.”

Feitz imagines a neighborhood garden with fruit trees or a park on one or more of the vacant lots in the area. She hopes her leadership will inspire others.

“I’ve seen a decline,” Feitz said. “It’s going downhill with people caring less and less. A lot of people getting discouraged. That’s how I was for a while and I just decided I needed to do something.”

Along with the possibility of more cleanups, the Sheffield Neighborhood Association is ready to introduce to the area its new website. On the website, www.sheffieldmo.nextdoor.com, neighborhood residents are able to learn more about criminal activity in the area, announce garage sales and more.

If you can’t attend the cleanup but would like to contribute to its efforts, Feitz said donations are welcome. To sign-up as a volunteer or donate, contact Feitz at feitz@kc.rr.com or contact her via the new website.

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