Extreme Street Makeover Beautifies Block in Lansing

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

This may look like a typical afternoon spent plucking weeds and grooming the garden. But when these ladies are done here, they'll move on to this house... and this house... and this house.

In fact, this entire block in Lansing's Baker-Donora neighborhood will be getting a face lift.

"We've started some demolition, pulling old structures, pulled fences out, taken out old dilapadated fences," says project coordinator Ryan Cook.

You're looking at "Extreme Street Makeover," made possible by state grant money and some generous volunteers. Pontiac Street is the third block to get a bonafide tune-up in this neighborhood.

"I do recognize the importance of keeping communities clean for a better community," says volunteer Ann Ruggiero. "I don't live here but the people are out here, they're great people, and it makes me feel good they're out here too."

The scene may not look like much now, but in nine days this yard and the rest of the neighborhood will be completely transformed, and neighbors here say they can't wait.

"Hopefully it turns out good, people keep it nice the way it should be," says neighbor Michael Newton.

Neighbors and volunteers will work for the next nine days, powerwashing homes, cleaning up shop-- even putting new paint and shingles on some houses. They even say this yard, now dry and without grass, will soon boast a bright green lawn.

"Beautification brings pride to people," Ruggiero says. "If your house looks nice, you feel good."

That's the big idea behind this big project: a big impact on a neighborhood with extreme potential.

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