ST. LOUIS ( -- The Urban League’s Department of Public Safety and Community Response will host the second Clean Sweep neighborhood clean-up event Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More than 200 volunteers and 30 companies will participate. The plan is to demolish 12 abandoned, deteriorating buildings as well as clear overgrown bushes and trees.

“It’s just a bad eyesore and I’ll be glad when they take them down. It’s gonna be a big improvement for the neighborhood," said North St. Louis resident David Walker. 

The 12 buildings that will be demolished are located along a two-mile stretch of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive from Union Boulevard east to Euclid Avenue. 

“If you live on a block where one of those abandoned buildings has been used for drug activity and other illegal activity, you want to see that building come down," said Michael McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League. 

McMillan said he worked with the city to identify buildings that were abandoned, partially collapsed, and posed a safety risk. 

“The goal is always beautification and neighborhood stabilization and trying to make sure our area is as clean, as organized and ready for construction, ready for development, ready for new businesses to come into the community," said McMillan.

In September, the Urban League repainted the historic Grand Avenue Water Tower and demolished six buildings as part of its first clean sweep. 

McMillan and Walker hope this new project is another step forward in turning North St. Louis around, which includes decreasing crime rates.

“We want this neighborhood to come back up and it’s got great potential. In 20 years, you won’t be able to live over here because it’s gonna be too expensive," said Walker. 

As part of Saturday's event, several healthcare providers will also provide free health screenings. 

The companion Screen Sweep, sponsored by TYLENOL®, will provide baseline health screenings and wellness information from a variety of providers including BJC Healthcare.  

WHERE: Along two miles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive from Union Boulevard east to Euclid Avenue. Construction crews will demolish 12 vacant and dilapidated buildings along Aldine Avenue, one block north of Kingshighway and Dr. MLK. Several vacant lots will have weeds trimmed and debris removed. 

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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