More proof that Flint is turning into a shrinking city proving ground:
"As Flint tries to survive and thrive as a smaller city, the thousands of abandoned homes and vacant lots scattered throughout its neighborhoods are more than a reminder of its past as a manufacturing boomtown," writes David Runk of the Associated Press.
"They're a costly headache to keep from getting wildly overgrown, with grass that can grow several feet high before being mowed.
"Grass experts, sociologists and community leaders have teamed up on a three-year project to cut some of that grass and try to test the idea that maintained lawns and parks help revitalize neighborhoods. Lessons learned in Flint, they hope, could be used around the country.
"'At one of the areas we're looking at, there's basically a park but no one is playing in it,' said Thom Nikolai, a Michigan State University turfgrass specialist who is leading the study. 'We want to come back in a year and see people throwing a Frisbee around.'"