COMMUNITY PARK CLEAN-UP EFFORT
LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies in partnership with The New Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church, Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Home Depot and local residents will conduct a community clean-up effort at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 19 at the Drafts-Skenes Community Garden and Park. The garden and park were built on a one-acre property on Meetze Road near West Columbia that formerly contained an abandoned home that was used as a location for buying crack cocaine.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said about 20 citizens plan to participate in the clean-up effort at the community garden and park. West Columbia Resident Deputy Adam Spires will coordinate the participation of the Sheriff’s Department in the clean-up effort. The clean-up effort at the community garden and park reflects the agency’s mission of providing professional law enforcement services that enhance the quality of life for all people in Lexington County.
The Sheriff’s Department in partnership with Home Depot, local churches, civic groups, businesses and local residents conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 15, 2012 for the community garden and park, Metts said. The homeowner agreed to allow the abandoned home on Meetze Road to be demolished and agreed to allow volunteers to build the community garden and park on the one-acre property.
The construction of the community garden and park is part of a community restoration effort that the Sheriff’s Department, local churches, civic groups and businesses initiated in 2009 on Meetze Road and English Drive, which previously had been hot spots for drug dealing and other criminal activity, Metts said.
“All kinds of criminal activity plagued this community not too many years ago, but the good, law-abiding people in this community joined law enforcement and others to clean this community up,” Metts said. “It truly has been a transformation.”
Sgt. David Nieves coordinated the participation of the Sheriff’s Department in the community restoration project, Metts said. About 110 volunteers built the community garden and park.
The Sheriff’s Department and Zion Lutheran Church helped local residents create a non-profit organization, which applied for financial aid from Home Depot, Metts said. The non-profit organization received a $5,500 grant from Home Depot, enabling local residents and volunteers from the Sheriff’s Department, Home Depot store in Lexington, local churches and civic groups to build a children’s playground, community garden, picnic tables and privacy fence. Metts said the following organizations and persons assisted in the community restoration project on Meetze Road and English Drive: Zion Lutheran Church, The New Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church, Thomas Kleckley, Lucas Porta-Jon Service, Sox & Freeman Tree Experts, TD Bank in Lexington, Consumers Feed & Seed Store, Southern Commercial Development, Craig Bowers, Michael Magruder, Cayce-West Columbia Lions Club, W.P. Law, Tractor Supply, Southern Signatures, LLC, and CJMW Architecture.
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