Residents concerned with overgrown grass in vacant lots - WNEM TV 5

Residents concerned with overgrown grass in vacant lots

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A Mid-Michigan community is taking the war on blight to a new front, with a ground assault.

Last year cutbacks trimmed Saginaw's budget for the maintenance of thousands of vacant lots and since then the grass has been growing out of control.

"This is a big eyesore," said Jessica Martinson, a Saginaw resident.

Martinson lives right next door to a vacant overgrown lot.

She said it got so bad at one point neighbors got together to mow some of it, but it remains a problem.

"It's kind of scary. You don't know what's in there or who's coming through there at all, or snakes, that a big concern," Martinson said.

She is not alone in her concern. There are about 5,000 vacant lots all over the city of Saginaw.

"Pretty much what it is, is tall grass," said Phil Karwat, director of Public Services for Saginaw.

He said limits in funding have made it difficult to in keep up with the overgrown fields. That's where Tom Miller with the Saginaw County Landbank comes in.

The Saginaw County Landbank is working with city to clean up some of the eyesores.

"This is kind of the difference between what you see across the street with 4 or 5 foot tall weeds and this stuff growing only 6 inches and only three or four weeds," Miller said.

The plan is to plant clovers in lots all over the city.

Martinson said she hopes to see the one next door to her home transformed as well.

"It would be nice. They tore the house down, they should be taking care of the lot," she said.

They have already planted a couple hundred clover fields in the city.

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