The Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC), is one of seventeen communities across the country to receive a technical assistance grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Foods, Local Places initiative. The grant valued at $30,000, received seventy-five applicants, to provide professional resources to aid communities in transforming under-utilized properties into productive spaces which contribute to the health of the community and spur economic opportunities.
Last week, LAMC, along with community residents, Calvary AME Church and local stakeholders met over two days for a facilitated workshop lead by EPRPC firm. The workshop focused on designing a conceptual plan for the redevelopment of a brownfield adjacent to the Union Heights community to create a passive park with biking and walking trails. The ideas for this plan are rooted in the needs and preferences expressed by residents of the southern end of North Charleston and include the creation of an open-air market to provide access to fresh healthy food (fruits and vegetables); support for local businesses and farmers; and a covered shelter with solar panel installation on the roof to provide power. The park will be named after Mary Lee Davis, a local Civil Rights icon who started a Constitution School in her beauty parlor in Union Heights and founded the local North Charleston NAACP chapter.
“LAMC has championed this type of redevelopment for 12 years. We are highly motivated to see this project completed and use this Brownfield-to-Healthfield strategy as a catalyst for redeveloping urban centers with a focus on socially impactful development led by the community” says Omar Muhammad, LAMC’s Executive Director.
LAMC is a 501(c3) organization started by the residents from communities on the southern end of North Charleston. LAMC’s purpose is to build healthy families by creating opportunities through the creation of affordable housing, increase economic and educational opportunities, and addressing legacy pollution which challenges redevelopment efforts.