Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the weather starts to cool, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake launches her fall cleanup. The neighborhood sweep comes around twice a year.
Gigi Barnett has more.
The trees and brush behind the Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church in Southwest Baltimore have been a cover for crime. Within the last few months, a string of home invasions hit the community. But this weekend, the canopy of trees is gone.
“We want to clear it so we can get a sight line so it provides no cover for anyone who doesn’t want to do the right thing,” said Hunting Ridge homeowner David McDonald.
Neighbors who live in Hunting Ridge joined in on the mayor’s annual fall cleanup. Twice a year—in the spring and autumn—the city asks neighbors to get out and make a clean sweep.
“They see this as part of their community. It’s important to them that it’s safe and looks good,” said Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church Rev. Deborah McEachran. “I walk this neighborhood about three times a week and pick up trash.”
Hunting Ridge is also former city Mayor Sheila Dixon’s neighborhood. Police said her house became the target of thieves last month.
During the cleanup, one neighbor found an old mattress hidden in some brush, possibly the bed of a homeless person.
“I don’t like it a bit,” said homeowner John Koenig.
The city plans to pick up all of the debris collected over the weekend on Monday morning.