Published: Aug 30, 2013 4:12 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 30, 2013 5:11 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A volunteer group is saving the city of Cape Coral $1 million by cleaning up abandoned and vacant properties. 

Peter Gerold's weapon against the weeds is a whole lot of determination.

This year, he decided to take over "Take Pride in the Cape", leading the volunteer group with another person.

Under new management, it's seeing a new kind of revitalization. "We've picked up a lot of new members, 8 in the last several weeks," he said.

Every Saturday morning, the group cuts down clutter at various properties.

"Some of the neighborhoods we go into are absolutely beautiful. Then in the middle of it you have this sore thumb that sticks up," he said.

As they battle the bushes they're also branching out by cleaning up graffiti with help from Home Depot, which provides the paint and supplies.

"We're finding graffiti for the most part in the vacant commercial buildings. thankfully we don't have an excessive amount but it's there," said code enforcement officer Frank Cassidy.

Claudette Karon has called the city many times about the overgrown eyesore next to her home, but was told "That the city's budget dont cover that," she said.

She's happy to learn these volunteers are taking care of the problem.

"I think that's fantastic. Keeping the neighborhood up. Thank you for caring," she said.

"The more people we have, the less like work it is!" said Gerold.

The group also cuts lawns for people who can't afford lawn care, and for our local veterans.

For more information, call Cape Coral's code enforcement, or call Peter Gerold at (239) 218-0249.