Castle Point gets cleaned up by volunteers and community partners
The St. Louis Promise Zone recently partnered with the Urban League, Regional Business Council, Councilwoman Shalonda Webb, St. Louis County Problem Property Unit and other community partners to clean up and build up Castle Point, a neighborhood in North St. Louis County.
100 volunteers from the community cleaned and cleared 30 vacant lots in the neighborhood. The group worked to cut down overgrown greenery, remove debris, collect trash, and move 8 cubic yards of mulch to the garden at the Community Empowerment Center.
“The Promise Zone was thrilled to play a critical role in coordinating and connecting partners for the Castle Point Clean Up,” Lavoughnda White, St. Louis Promise Zone Manager said. “Cleaning up a vacant lot leads to less crime, more socializing outdoors, and increased perceptions of safety in the surrounding neighborhood. Thank you to our partners for being invested in helping to create equitable communities for all.”
Councilwoman Shalonda Webb said clearing unnecessary greenery and overgrowth is planting the seeds for a brighter future in North St. Louis County.
“We often want our kids to succeed but we have to give them a foundation,” Councilwoman Webb said. “Their neighborhood, their community is the basis of their foundation outside of their household. It’s important for me to create safety for them, for them to have a sense of pride.”
County Executive Sam Page touched on the power and contagiousness of volunteering.
“It’s needed more in some communities than others,” County Executive Sam Page said. “Castle Point is loved, but it needs more love and that’s why we’re here today.”
Chair Rita Days emphasized how proud she is of the leadership in North St. Louis County.
“If you look at all the people who have come together to make this happen, this is not by accident. This is how we are going to roll until North St. Louis County gets the resources it deserves.”
The St. Louis Promise Zone program partners with local leaders to give communities proven tools to rebuild and put people back to work. The federal program launched in 2013, designates high-poverty urban, rural and tribal communities as Promise Zones in order to increase economic activity, improve educational outcomes, reduce serious and violent crime, invest in transformative development and improve health and wellness.