In the last few months since finishing my last pre requisite class - with an A I might add!!! I've joined the neighborhood Civic Association, a non profit educational foundation committed to building community. It also has a Neighborhood Watch which works closely with it.
Over the last week or so I noticed this tree while driving to pick my son up at school. In Florida we call this time of year 'season' where all the tourists flock and we have tourist season, affectionately said season as not to offend anyone. One of the small inconveniences we have from season is heightened traffic, the offset however is no state income tax.
Back to the story.....I noticed this tree and while in stand still traffic realized that the lovely black and white things were shoes not birds!!! What?!! That's a gang sign!!! Gang's will rob someone and then string the person's shoes to a telephone wire or tree, or shoes in front or around a house mean that house or a house near by may be dealing drugs. I decided it was time to put a little NIMBY, not in my neighborhood, in action!!
On Friday I stopped at the house on my way home from picking up my son and obtained permission to enter the yard to remove the shoes from an adult member of the house hold. He said they had been there for FOUR years!!! And they were just waiting for them to rot off. He figured it was neighborhood kids that did it.....wow. The tree was bordering a canal, but can you imagine four years of living with that literally in your back yard? I was pretty astounded at the mindset to let them rot.
Yesterday morning at 9 am the head of the Neighborhood Watch, my six year old son, and I went out with a pole saw, ladder, and garbage bag and got to work.
We removed two garbage bags worth of shoes. Leaving six in the tree we just couldnt get to. Al, the Neighborhood Watch leader will be contacting the county to see if they will help in getting the remaining shoes down.
One small step for the neighborhood reclaiming it's beauty and feeling of safety.
The final results, the tree had six pairs of shoes/flip flops left when we were done. We removed over 20 pairs of shoes.