Dorri Partain 
Assistant Editor

The Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (CID) oversees improvements along Independence Avenue. Improvements include trash collection, beautification and assistance in a program referred to as GRIME, CRIME & CHIME. Leading the CID’s crew of 10 street Ambassadors is Laura Birdsong — Team Resource Manager.

Birdsong took the position after working as a street Ambassador herself nearly three years ago and has led the team for the past two years.

For Birdsong, a Northeast resident, the best part of working for the CID is “the difference that I believe we are making in the community.” She continued that just in the past two years the improvements include less trash in some areas and fewer issues with flowers being pulled from planting beds and pots. Planting flowers along the avenue and caring for the gardens is a favorite task for Birdsong, who enjoys the vibrance that the many varieties of flowers– some which are planted to attract butterflies– bring to the area.

Working along “The Avenue” also has its challenges, especially when dealing with individuals in crisis or need.

“Personally, it can be difficult for me but I feel it’s a calling from God to do what I’m doing here,” said Birdsong. “It’s my own personal testimony, how to be loving to those in need and get them resources to help them, while still working to instill a new standard to protect the community.”

Birdsong networked with CARE  Beyond the Boulevard and Healing House KC to provide Narcan, a pharmaceutical that reverses a drug overdose– readily available and free– along with instruction to use it properly.  Since  the program’s inception, the availability has saved several lives.

A graduate of Healing House KC’s recovery  program, Birdsong devotes her free time to staying in touch and giving back, assisting any way she can “but Sunday’s are for church!”

A grandmother of four, with one more on-the-way, Birdsong enjoys spending time with her “babies” and urban hiking with friends.

If you spot Laura on the Avenue, say Hi and Thank you!