KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nearly 20 Northeast neighbors are working in the bitter cold Monday, cleaning up parks to make them more inviting and deter crime.
Their goal is to get people who live around Indian Mound park more involved in making their neighborhood better.
Volunteers are cutting back brush and picking up trash that often is illegally dumped from a bluff that provides a scenic vista of river bottoms below.
By helping restore the natural beauty of the landscape, neighbors hope to prevent crime, including shootings that all too often are reported near parks in the Northeast.
"Our commitment to trying to eliminate crime here is to focus on our parks, get people engaged in activity in our parks," said Manny Abarca of the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association. "We can combat those negative elements through positive elements. So we're working hard, we are going to keep working hard on our parks and make this place a better place to live."
More than 300 acres make up nearby Kessler Park, with some of the most breathtaking views around Kansas City. Unfortunately, that scenery has been blocked by overgrown brush that includes invasive species of trees and dumped trash that have ruined the beauty of the area.
"The couple of years we've been doing work along the corridor now we've seen a drastic improvement in people taking ownership in their area of the park and the community surrounding it," said Brett Shoffner, executive director of the Cliff Drive Corridor Management Committee. "I think you're seeing that today with people showing up when it's 8 degrees out here and still wanting to do some work and help their neighborhood out."
This is the third year Northeast neighbors have come together for a day of service on the Martin Luther King holiday.