Students plant urban farm on formerly trash-inundated lots in Ka - KCTV5 News

Students plant urban farm on formerly trash-inundated lots in Kansas City

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There is a huge sign of progress for one formerly blighted neighborhood in Kansas City. (KCTV5) There is a huge sign of progress for one formerly blighted neighborhood in Kansas City. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

There is a huge sign of progress for one formerly blighted neighborhood in Kansas City.

The 5400 block of East 27th Terrace was considered among the worst in the area. A few of the houses were occupied and most had been deemed by the city as dangerous, awaiting demolition. But, that was a year ago. Now, it is a totally different block.

"Essentially, the whole south side of this block was abandoned, vacant, houses in terrible condition," Grant Reichert said.

This area east of Van Brunt Boulevard needed a whole lot of attention, but no one offered until Larry Myer with the non-profit Tikkun-KC came along and set a goal to transform not one house but the entire block.

"This is our mission to make homeowners out of people that can't ... turn the worst neighborhoods into livable, one house at a time," Myer said.

That is not an easy task when you had yards so overgrown that they completely hid detached garages and lots were filled with rodents and tons of trash. It was also a magnet for drug dealers.

Now, there is obvious progress. Jeffrey Talbert was the first homeowner to move into one of the newly rehabbed houses just after the first of the year.

"It's been an exciting new year for me," he said.

Talbert can't believe the transformation.

"Everything is just excellent, no problems. The community is picking up a lot better. He's helping us out a lot," Talbert said.

Plus, on one of the lots, area students came Friday to create and plant an urban garden.

"The folks on the street will take care of it and enjoy the bounty of the harvest come fall," Talbert said.

By renovating these houses, it saves taxpayers $10,000 to $12,000 per house in demolition costs.

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