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Clean Up, Build Up: Castle Point gets a spring cleaning

100 volunteers cleaned up 30 vacant lots in North St. Louis County.

ST. LOUIS — Volunteers and Castle Point neighbors teamed up for the Urban League’s “Clean up, Build Up” on Saturday afternoon.

30 vacant properties were cleared of trash, greenery, and debris by 100 volunteers.

"Working to bring civility back, bringing hope back into the Castle Point neighborhood is very important," James Clark, Urban League said. “You have "to lift St. Louis from the bottom. You can't lift St. Louis from the middle, you can’t lift from the top. You have to go all the way down and lift, heavy lift. It's not going to be a big-ticket item that can turn St. Louis around. The point of pivot is going to be the neighborhood. We can turn St. Louis but the point of pivot is going to be when you plant that foot in the neighborhood, then you go in another direction."

Lifetime Castle Point neighbor Nick Curlett said he’s happy to see the Regional Business Council, St. Louis County, The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the St. Louis County Police Department and others from across the region cleaning up his community.

“The neighborhood is the people who live here,” Curlett said. “You can't attract young people to come and keep the neighborhood thriving. The people that live here have to respect what they have, respect others. That’s part of nurturing the neighborhood.”

District 4 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,” 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.”

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