Posted at: 05/04/2013 7:17 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It’s a big undertaking but residents in Albuquerque’s Del Norte Neighborhood say it’s long overdue.
They are taking back a troubled alley in their neighborhood near Montgomery and San Mateo.
For years, the alley has been overrun by trash, graffiti and even drug use.
Now it’s overrun with neighbors who’ve had enough.
A mural is coming alive depicting Albuquerque’s history and the bright future the neighborhood wants for itself.
Residents are pitching in to make an “art alley.”
Neighborhood kids like Joey Arieno say they steer clear of the area.
"It's always scary back here. Because you don't know what could pop up back there," said the 10-year-old Arieno.
The neighborhood association got a $1,000 grant from the county’s Neighborhood Outreach Program to turn things around.
It also wants the city to step in and help.
The neighborhood association also wants to have the alley repaved.
A big safety concern is around the corner of the alley.
Neighbors want to have some lights installed and a fence to keep trouble out.
Local artist Gayle Van Horn doesn’t live in the neighborhood but wants to help by recreating one of his paintings.
"We need to bring art back to the neighborhoods and this was just a block wall and now it's going to be full of art," said Van Horn.
"I think it'll like really inspire it for everyone else like to come down here and look at it and not be so afraid of it anymore," said Arieno.
Anyone can show up to lend a hand Saturday mornings at 9 a.m.
The group hopes to finish the mural by early June.