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Neighborhood Nuisance: Toledo man turns vacant lot into community space

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 8:57 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Sy Kreais has lived on North Michigan street for over 60 years.

He loves his community but wishes some parts of it looked better. “I hate to tell you this, it could look better than Ottawa Hills or Sylvania. Take pride in where you live,” said Kreais.

Kreais grew tired of looking at an overgrown lot across the street, so he took it upon himself to turn it into something for everyone −a community greenspace.

“I did not want my neighborhood kids threatened with that, so I started mowing it years ago using a push mower. It started looking nice and I said we’re going to make some more improvements,” said Kreais.

He added that his contributions are helping the neighborhood.

“It’s helping the neighborhood. It’s all about pride. You gotta be proud of yourself and proud of your neighborhood.” He said it’s not uncommon for the lot to be mistaken as one of the city’s many Metroparks.

David Mann, the President, and CEO of the Lucas County Landbank said they love to see people revamping lots like this.

“Properties that are uncared for, properties that may be used to have a house on them, or used to have a building on them that was demolished, they need someone to take care of them. They need someone to step up,” said Mann. Mann added that the renovations boost the property value of the neighborhood.

“It will add value to their own house. It will give them the opportunity to do something great in the community. And it will save taxpayers dollars because that lot won’t be taken care of by the public, it will be taken care of people who live next door,” Mann said.

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