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Years of disenfranchisement and lack of drainage infrastructure in this community have led to continuous street and home flooding in even the smallest of storms. Additionally, due to the lack of drainage infrastructure in this community, standing water pools are created that do not dissipate for weeks. This creates dangerous health situations due to the breeding and hatching of mosquito larva which can spread a multitude of diseases such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria. Long-term residents have reported that outdoor activities are non-existent because of the smell of stagnant waters, proliferations of mosquitoes and the inability to simply enter and exit the home. This problem has existed for more than 50 years. This can be documented with the absence of stormwater drains. Historically, there were ditches that were used for drainage. Over time the ditches were filled in by the city which ultimately stopped the flow of water. This once was a thriving mixed raced community of African-Americans, Italians, Jewish and Cuban ethnicity.
The project will provide training and education for both community members and participating youth on important Green Infrastructure and stormwater Management practices, and clean energy uses and strategies. The Community members as well as students will be able to learn a transferable skill while providing design insight, community beautification, reforestation as well as useful tools during any future emergencies from storm events.
This project will directly impact the specified neighborhoods by improving stormwater issues, community reforestation, air quality, Long term health outcomes and community resiliency. This project will also foster community engagement through workshops about Green Infrastructure addressing local concerns on climate change, global warming and community revitalization Educating community members on green energy and climate change through hands-on experiential learning Transforming our initial community outreach endeavors into an innovative product that benefits the community members directly and can be adapted to any community and audience Document attendance at events and volunteer participation. Document survey and meeting results. Incorporate feedback, Project data and information will be disseminated through paper reports, social media , email, community meetings and door to door info sessions
This project can be the catalyst to revitalize the current inadequate infrastructure, improve public health outcomes and engage residents to restore a sense of community cohesiveness. It is clear that the lack of investment in this community and others that has left it ravaged with the social plights of many disenfranchised urban settings.