NOLA for Life group revitalizes McDonogh Park - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

NOLA for Life group revitalizes McDonogh Park

New Orleans, LA -- New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, wants to get to the heart of what causes violent murders and crime that plagues young people across the city.

Landrieu says, it's up to the adults to give the youth something to do, especially as summer quickly approaches.

Today, volunteers with NOLA for Life set their sights in the McDonogh community that's located in Algiers.

On a chilly Saturday morning, more than 200 volunteers packed park like a group of soldiers on a mission.

"It makes me feel wonderful," says Algiers Resident, Beryl Ragas.

Today's mission, to revitalize, and give new life to a dying park in a community that has seen its share of violence recently.

"We had three murders within a month and a half, all young men and they all occurred within a block and half of each other, which was really hard for this community," says New Orleans City Council Woman, Kristen Palmer.

Ragas, who is a longtime resident and President of the McDonogh Neighborhood Association says she has called upon New Orleans City Hall to clean up the park and surrounding neighborhood for years.

"It's been over 20-years get this area, get this park back into use. Neighborhood blight is a big part of the community," says Ragas.

Four months ago, the Mayor's office called Ragas to say volunteers would head to her community, armed with drills and lots of other tools.

"They're going to do a diamond for the baseball and for the basketball, benches for the area, so all of those are good resources for the children," says Ragas.

As part of the third NOLA for life, the city's code enforcement department is tearing down this blighted home.

"That's part of our blight strategy to hit out 10,000 house mark which we're well on the way to doing at the end of next year," says Landrieu.

Residents know a cleaner park and neighborhood puts them on the path to reclaiming their community.

In the weeks leading up to Saturday, City departments including Department of Public Works, Code Enforcement, Park and Parkways, Sanitation, Capital Projects, Sewerage and Water Board have worked to repair 436 street light outages, 294 potholes, 21 catch basins, 36 street signs; remove six abandoned vehicles, 16 tree stumps, 13 tires; treat 107 storm drains; place 428 bait blocks, repair 30 water leaks, treat 107 storm drains and inspect 70 blighted properties. These improvements were made possible through Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund funding through the Deputy Mayor Grant and the Office of Community Development

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