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A New Generation Fights Blight

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(WBRE/WYOU-TV) It is no secret blighted properties are scattered throughout Schuylkill County, especially in Mahanoy City.  Now a new generation is getting into the fight the blight effort.  Eyewitness News Reporter Rachel Espailatt explains.

11 students from Harrisburg Area Community college and Blue Mountain High School stepped away from the classroom to do their learning in the streets of Mahanoy City.

  school “Going out using this app. It helped a little bit with the community. I learned something and I was able to teach people some things” Said Chase Rehrig, Freshman Blue Mountain High School.

 The schools teamed up, using the “One-Two-Three APP” to map and collect data. The goal? To help the borough determine exactly how many properties are in good condition or blighted.

The group spent about 4 hours assessing more than 2000 properties. Out of those properties, they found about a fourth of them to be blighted.

For the high school students, it was a good practical lesson in mapping says Blue Mountain STEM teacher Terry Laughlin.   “They can kind of see, it’s more than just sitting in a classroom. And clicking on a computer. It’s actually going out and collecting data and doing somethings that are pretty cutting edge.”

 Harrisburg Area High School Area Community College Assistant professor Nicole Ernst did a similar study in Harrisburg. She hopes the results of this study will also help the borough identify where to focus its revitalization efforts to get grant money to get rid of the blight.

  “We can help the town redevelop, as appropriate for them in hopes of bringing young people back into the area and making it a more viable economic area,” Said Ernst.

  “We were able to help all these people just by doing something as simple as using our phones to record all this data,” said Chase Rehrig.

The group will analyzed the data when they are finished.


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