(08/23/13) - On Flint's east side, there's a man fighting blight - one lawn at a time.
"Well, I have abandoned houses in front of my house. And I wanted to keep them looking good, so that the neighborhood looks good," said Clarence Campbell.
That was in May. Since then, Campbell has made his way around a neighborhood that's hit a bit of a rough spot.
"When I drive by and see something that needs to be cut, I put it on my list and eventually I get to it," he said.
As we've reported, there are more than 20,000 abandoned properties in Flint. The Genesee County Land Bank owns almost half of them. It only has enough money to mow each lawn this year - once.
But once Campbell mows a lawn, he keeps it up regularly.
"Try to be out here every day the sun's shining," he said.
It's a lot of work, and it is costly.
"I just buy the gas, out of my own pocket," Campbell said.
He does it because he loves the Vehicle City.
Campbell was born and raised in Flint, but moved away.
"Came back and see all this, it's just sad. So I want my city to look good," he said.
Tall weeds, overgrown sidewalks and abandoned houses - but he just keeps mowing.
"Just don't like the way it's turned out. I mean, I know that the city's poor, but we don't have to look poor," Campbell said.
Joining him on his one-man mission on the day we were there was his three granddaughters.
"They're learning at a young age that they can make a difference, too. They pick up the trash. There's a lot of trash once you cut the grass, so they keep it out," he said.
When he's done at one place, it's off to the next.
"I call it the power of one. If one person can do something to make a difference, then maybe somebody else will join in," he said.
ABC12 Main Station