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Two homes and four rain gardens to be dedicated Friday in Kalamazoo neighborhood

Courtesy of Kalamazoo County Land Bank


Kalamazoo County Land Bank Executive Director Kelly Clarke says people who live near the former blighted properties helped decide what to do with the property. 

Clarke says three blighted homes were demolished, two new homes were built, two curb-lawn rain gardens and two residential rain gardens were also added. 

Friday's dedication ceremony is in the 700 block of Willard Street in Kalamazoo. Clarke says residents in the Stuart neighborhood identified the 700 block of Willard as a problem area. She says people who live near there wanted the abandoned homes removed. 

Clarke says residents in the neighborhood said they wanted rain gardens to improve the appearance of the neighborhood. She says it's also beneficial to the environment. 

Two homes have been built on the site where three blighted homes were demolished. Clarke says the demand doesn't justify replacing each of the homes that were demolished. She says the lots are small in areas close to the downtown. Clarke says there is a chance for some homeowners to expand their yards.

Friday's events in the 700 block of Willard Street begin at 4:00. Remarks begin at 4:30. The scheduled speakers include  Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner Pat Crowley, Kalamazoo County Treasurer Mary Balkema, Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell and State Representative Sean McCann of Kalamazoo. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.