By Anna Alejo

(CBS4) – How often do you hear the stories of homeowners associations coming down on families for not taking care of their yards? Now one community has an alternative to fines — to help people who fall behind on yard upkeep.

Residents in unincorporated Adams County can check out individual tools at the Tool Shed at no cost to organize cleanup projects.

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With the blessings of code enforcement officials, neighbors in the Sherrelwood community recently banded together to help one of their own. It didn’t take much arm twisting for neighbors to want to spruce up the home belonging to Ron Armstrong.

Armstrong lost his wife Connie early in the pandemic and wasn’t in a position to keep up his yard.

“Ron’s been here and he’s been such a good neighbor,” said neighbor and cleanup organizer Robin Hannon. “He’ll help us with any little thing we might have questions about. He knows everybody, everybody knows him.”

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Hannon and her husband Brian organized their friends in Sherrelwood and Twin Lakes to make full use of the Tool Shed.

Adams County Communications Director Christa Bruning said, “Lawnmowers and everything you would need to take care of your yard, and let’s partner with our residents versus giving them citations.”

Hannon is the type of neighbor who can’t help but clean up trash every time she’s out for a walk. Bruning added, “ We could use a million more Robins, we love her.”

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After helping Armstrong, Hannon intends to take the tool shed to other neighborhoods, she said.

“If we don’t have pride in our neighborhood that’s when I hear people complaining a lot. You’ve really got to step up and do it yourself.”

Edwin Lynch lives a block over from Armstrong and appreciated the opportunity to help beautify his neighbor’s yard.

“I think a sense of community is awesome and having good relationships with neighbors. It just makes for a totally different experience than living somewhere where you don’t even know each other,” Lynch said.

Carolina Hernandez wants to bring the shed to her neighborhood soon.

“I actually live in Twin Lakes and I know there’s a lot of older folks there who would definitely benefit from the help,” she said.

To find out how you can borrow the Adams County Tool Shed, go to adcogov.org/tool-shed

Bruning suggests allowing 2-3 weeks to book the shed, but just 3 business days are generally enough notice for borrowing individual tools such as a lawn mower. The tools are delivered to you.

And a reminder — this Friday — CBS4 is going out to Adams County’s Riverdale Regional Park for First Alert Weather In Your Neighborhood. We’ll learn more about the nearly 1200 acre park that aims to one day rival New York’s Central Park with its amenities.

Anna Alejo