As part of the ongoing effort to revitalize and reinvigorate the Key Coalition Neighborhood, the City of Kansas City and neighborhood leaders joined forces to hold a community clean-up event July 15. Organizers believe the clean-up can act as a ‘springboard’ for not only a renewed sense of pride in the area, but more commercial and residential development.
“There is a common thread shared by the city and neighborhood leadership,” said John A. Wood, director of the city’s Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department (NHSD). “We both have a vested interest in the future of the Key Coalition Neighborhood. Even with the new KCPD East Patrol headquarters and the Linwood Shopping Center redevelopment, there is still a lot of potential for residential and retail growth.”
Volunteers spent the morning cleaning chronic illegal dumping sites in the neighborhood, removing damaged trees from vacant properties and collecting trash. “To see this and to have this happening (gives me) a feeling I can’t even describe,” said Karen Slaughter, president of the Key Coalition Neighborhood.
Slaughter, a lifelong resident of the Key Coalition Neighborhood, said she got involved in preserving and revitalizing the neighborhood for a very simple reason. “When I was a child, we had a lot of senior citizens who watched out for me, walking back and forth to school,” she said. “All the residents watched out for us, looked out for us and made sure nothing happened.
“(Now) they have become of an age where they need protection, so it felt good for me to get involved and engaged with the neighborhood and assist them.”
The Key Coalition Neighborhood runs from 27th to 35th Street north to south, Prospect to Woodland east to west.