SPOKANE, Wash. - If you live on the south hill, a man working tirelessly to rid a stretch of land of weeds and overgrown brush has probably caught your eye near 57th and Glenrose. For the past four years, 75-year-old Bruce Blott has taken on the project because he simply felt it was the right thing to do.
"I do a piece at a time," he said. "It's a big job, but I get it done."
He does it at least twice a year, a labor of love that takes several days.
"I started (this time) about 10 days ago, probably," he said.
It's roughly 850 square feet of grass, weeds and sometimes even trash on a stretch of property that belongs to the county.
"They've got bigger priorities now," he said. "They are stretched thin."
Bruce says he used to watch the space look more and more out of control, and one day simply thought to himself, 'if not me, who?'
"I just try to keep it presentable for the rest of the neighborhood so it doesn't look sloppy, like nobody cares," he said. "There's enough of that."
The selfless act of service certainly gets attention. Bruce gets frequent honks, smiles, waves and even treats from the neighbors.
"It's nice, but that's not why I do it," he said.
When KHQ first approached Bruce to do the story, he told us no. He said he didn't want any recognition. His family convinced him to let us share his story reminding him that good deeds and kindness can be contagious. He says when he thought of it that way, he was ready to talk. He hopes if even one person who sees his story is encouraged to go out and make a positive impact, it was worth it.
"We all need to just do what we can," he said.
The grandfather of six has lived in the area for the past 20 years, just a short walk from the space he works so hard to beautify. He says he gets plenty out of the effort, too.
"I've been trying to stay limber, so I don't have to have more surgeries," he said. "I just turned 75."
Bruce says he has found that spending a day, or days, getting his hands dirty is good for both his body and soul.
"I just enjoy the fact that I can do this and that other people appreciate it," he said.
The county will typically collect the piles of weeds and debris for disposal, but his neighbors have pitched in before to clean up on their own dime. He says he will trim up the space again in August or September, if not earlier.