Neighborhood joins forces with sheriff to clean up lot

Published: Jun. 15, 2012 at 8:29 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2012 at 8:29 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - Meetze Street used to be riddled with crime and drugs, but it's come a long way. Time, money, and some help from Home Depot have given way to a fresh vegetable garden and a playground.

"It's wonderful to have good neighbors to come together to help get stuff done," neighbor Annie Howell said.

Just a few years ago, two abandoned homes in the area served as crack houses, but residents fought to get their neighborhood back and joined forces with Lexington County Sheriff's Department.

"Communities can turn around and instead of having the criminal element control what's going on now, we can have quality of life once gain thriving in this community," Sheriff James Metts said.

Most people at Friday's ceremony to mark the neighborhood's makeover didn't realize the lot originally belonged to Eartha Drafts, a maid for the Skenes family. When Eartha died in 1983, she left the land to the Skenes.

"She was just a part of our family," Elizabeth Millen said. "She spent holidays with us and we just adored her and loved her."

The Skenes family says Eartha spent her whole life on Meetze Street and this project means her legacy will always live on.

"Her vision was for this neighborhood to be one and to love each other," Millen said. "I can just see her smiling right now."

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