Zone Blitz

Scott Harvey / KSMU

On a bitterly cold, overcast December afternoon, Debbie Sterling points out a vacant lot at the corner of Kearney Street and Fort Avenue in Springfield’s Zone 1. The home that once stood here, she says, used to be a hotbed for criminal activity. In her neighborhood of Woodland Heights, among the biggest crime concerns, says Sterling, is drugs.

“You see a lot of stop-and-go traffic at houses or you’ll see people sitting out in cars in front of certain houses. As soon as they see you they take off,” she says.

Chris Straw, Building Development Services

Stand in front of an old, white, multi-story house on W. Hamilton in Springfield's Grant Beach Neighborhood and you can see why it's been a source of frustration for neighbors for a long time. The front and back doors are wide open--so are several windows.  There's a couch in the front yard, tires in a side yard and a large pile of junk just behind the house.  The inside is in a state of disrepair, and a steady stream of water flows from a broken pipe under the kitchen sink, flooding the floor."

Mike Smith / KSMU

City of Springfield Zone 1 Council Person Phyllis Ferguson has a long history of community involvement. Even before her appointment to City Council in April 2015, Ferguson had a reputation as a tireless advocate for the 40,000 residents of Springfield’s northwest quadrant.

“I think people have to understand, there are very deep roots in northwest Springfield.  We have really wonderful homes there, we have great parks and strong neighborhoods.  We don’t have a lot of traffic, and I think those are assets people forget,” she said.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

The City of Springfield’s Zone Blitz initiative is moving full steam ahead after an event at Nichols Park to kick it off.  Community Listen Zone Blitz is an effort to improve the quality of life in northwest Springfield.

Priority projects were identified during a three-week listening tour in Zone 1 neighborhoods. 

Zone 1 council member, Phyllis Ferguson, said her part of town has problems and they’re problems that have been around for too long.

City of Springfield

The Missouri Job Center has received a grant that will help provide job opportunities in Springfield’s northwest quadrant.  The $200,000 grant, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will be used to recruit, train and place local unemployed and underemployed individuals in full-time, sustainable, green jobs in a range of environmental fields, according to the City of Springfield.