Making Progress on Polk Street - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Making Progress on Polk Street

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- There's an area nestled in the Garden District of Alexandria that has seen it's hey day come and go, but with a little TLC, and a group of neighbors that's banded together, the neighborhood is being revitalized. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton introduces us to the Polk Street Area Neighborhood Group.

Mr. and Mrs. Abbott live near the corner of Polk Street and Blythe Avenue. They say when they moved into their home nearly forty years ago, it was a bustling neighborhood.

"My trees, there were always boys climbing in the trees. No matter where they went there were children," says Susan Abbott.

But as the neighborhood and the homeowners grew older, permanent residents turned into renters, and the area began to change.

"Our children grew up and went to college. Grew away. The interstate came and those houses- people died," adds Abbott.

But now, the area is seeing comeback. Neighbors have formed the Polk Street Area Neighborhood Group- complete with a Facebook page- which has begun to breathe new life into the neighborhood once again. As people move back into the neighborhood, the group holds events like block parties, so they can get to know each other.

"The group has been wonderful because we're getting to know our neighbors. That's the biggest thing," says group organizer Heather Matlock.

They also work with the SafeAlex program and APD to keep an eye out for any unwanted activity.

"We depend on the residents to be our eyes when we're not in the neighborhood, so this neighborhood watch program is very beneficial to us, as to the neighbors," says Sargeant Bruce Fairbanks, of APD.

And, to take care of issues like replacing street lights and keeping the neighborhood clean.

"I think it gives us some leverage with the city. When we call, or they come to our meetings and they hear our concerns I think they really take them seriously. We have had a very positive response from the police," adds Matlock.

The neighbors say they've seen progress, as the neighborhood continues to undergo a revitalization process.

"We have so many great neighbors and it's a good feeling," says Matlock.

 As the people of Polk Street live alongside one another as not just residents- but as neighbors.

 "We have little children in the neighborhood again. We have young people in the neighborhood again," says Abbott.

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