COLUMBIA — Problems lurk in neglected alleys of the Ridgeway neighborhood: poison ivy and invasive honeysuckle, tires and trash gathering under the bushes.
"It is no-man's land," Donna Cooke said, shaking her head as she walked through the alleys with John McFarland, Pat Kelley and Rebecca Schedler, all of the Ridgeway Neighborhood Association.
They walked through several dirt alleys, working their way around occasional obstacles. When McFarland walked past a stack of tires, he said, "this is a breeding place for West Nile disease."
The neighborhood association has brought up the issue of its alleys with the city's Public Works Department for years with little change. On Saturday, the neighborhood association is partnering with the grass-roots program Love Where You Live to clean up the alleys and neighborhood.
Kelley Lucero of Columbia, coordinator of local Love Where You Live efforts, chose the Ridgeway area because of its active neighborhood association.
Volunteers are needed and will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at Oak Towers to clean alleys and gutters with residents. The group will also collect tires, electronic waste and hazardous waste from the neighborhood.
Before the clean-up, volunteers can join residents for tea, coffee and snacks at Oak Towers while First Ward Councilman Fred Schmidt gives opening remarks.
Lucero hopes there will be enough volunteers. "It is a grass-roots thing," Lucero said. "The larger we can get, the more we can do."
Volunteers who are interested can call 874-7238 or 443-8706, ext. 1916 for information.
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