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article imageOp-Ed: Behind the fence - A glance into my Detroit neighborhood

By Matt Harding     May 22, 2010 in Environment
Detroit - Is there any stopping my little corner of Warrendale, a neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, from becoming ruined and taking a turn for the worse?
Perhaps mine is a neighborhood in shambles.
Warrendale, Detroit, one of the largest of the Detroit neighborhoods, is near extinction.
Sites in the neighborhoods have become desolate and ripe for destruction. Abandoned buildings, burnt houses, and surprisingly enough, alleyways, have turned into mere dumping grounds for citizens who simply do not care about their city.
 No Dumping  reads this wood sign posted on a burnt garage in Detroit  Michigan
"No Dumping" reads this wood sign posted on a burnt garage in Detroit, Michigan
One house in Warrendale is completely gutted, garage and all. Burnt to a crisp, this site has piles of trash beyond the monstrous shrubs which have gone completely untouched. The garage has a wood sign that, ironically, reads, "No Dumping." Whoever put up the sign wasn't that successful in his or her endeavors, but still, it's the thought that counts, right?
Not all dumping, however, occurs in abandoned lots. As I mentioned, alleyways are terrific spaces for unwanted trash. For years, disrespectful residents have been torturing our city's beauty with trash. Alleys are just one more place where garbage can be disposed of.
Alleys in Detroit, for the most part, go untouched. While this may mean no trash is dumped, this also means no grass is cut, no trees are trimmed, and no weeds are uprooted. After my father and I put up a wood fence in our backyard, little thought has been put into our alleyway and, while I say this in frustration, it has become somewhat of a jungle.
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
I know that the alley, although of no particular use, should be kept clean; clean of all that plagues it: overflowing grasses of all kinds, poison ivy, as well as the two dead birds I happened to see while taking some pictures for this article the other day. It should be able to be completed. After all, just a few years ago, before the wood fence was erected, we kept up the yard work in the alley.
I'd cut the grass, trim the trees, and uproot the weeds, but something is stopping me. The filth that lies on the grass is what's stopping me. The debris left behind by careless neighbors, who put their laziness before the cleanliness of their own city.
The dumping ground, as evidenced by the plentiful amount of photos (below) and the video (top), has the following: two mattresses, a blue tarp, debris of all kinds (mostly plain old trash), and all of this amongst what could pass as a dumping site placed in the Amazon Rainforest.
In response, I ask you what would you do? What would you have me do?
The epidemic is sweeping the city of Detroit. For every nice neighborhood, there is one that yearns to be fixed up and treated with the respect it deserves.
But, the biggest question of all remains: How do we change the people who destroy the city?
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
The alley behind my fence
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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