Macon's Unionville neighborhood is getting a makeover.
Inmates at the Bibb County jail have been working for the past couple of weeks to clean a lot on the corner of Pansy Avenue and Iris Street with a project called Weed Out the Weed.
Nicole Butler gives us a look at how far they've come and how the neighborhood is reacting to the change.
Blowing away the debris and cutting up the old to make way for the new, inmates at the Bibb County jail have been working hard to clean out this lot.
Neighbor Margo Dent remembers back to just a few weeks ago when the land was nothing more than a trash site.
"It was depressing, for one thing. When my family members would come, I would be ashamed, because when you come home and you look at where you live and you had no control, you just had to deal with it each and every day," she says.
Dent says this change is giving her hope.
"I was so happy! I went out of town for seven days and when I drove up and looked at this community and what had been done, I was just breath-taken. I couldn't believe it," she exclaims.
But the purpose of the Weed Out the Weed project isn't just to chop away the weeds or pick up trash. Sheriff David Davis says they hope to shut down illegal activity.
"Vacant lots like this that are overgrown, these individuals can hide drugs, hide weapons, and, in fact, we have found some drugs and drug paraphernalia over in these lots," he says.
They are working to clear up the mess of the past to make for a brighter future.
"We're not naive to think that this is going to end all criminal activity and that sort of thing, but it helps us to show that we're trying to make a difference," Sheriff Davis says.
It's a difference that is changing people's mindsets of where they live.
"Now when I can come home, I feel pride to say, 'Look what it looks like now. It's a real community again,'" Dent exclaims.
Dent says she's looking forward to having cookouts and other gatherings to bring the people in the neighborhood closer together.
Davis says they hope to be done with the cleanup in about a week.
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