WRRI Annual Conference 2020 Virtual Session

Posted on July 02, 2020

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Fostering engagement in the Cottage Grove neighborhood through community involvement in riparian cleanup to enhance stormwater quality

Tatiana Height (Project Coordinator) and Stephen Sills (PI)
UNC-Greensboro Center for Housing and Community Studies
Direct Correspondences to: [email protected]

This community engaged project with residents of the Cottage Grove neighborhood in East Greensboro, NC will address environmental justice concerns with two unnamed tributaries of South Buffalo Creek. We will involve the residents through an oral history of long-time residents (>20 years), as well as surveys, focus groups, participatory community meetings, community work days with university student volunteers, and finally an educational citizen science stormwater campaign with K-6 students. We expect the main outcome of the project is to build community capacity to organize and advocate for resources like green infrastructure through the City of Greensboro’s Participatory Budgeting process. The residents will build relationships with the City of Greensboro’s environmental educators and those relationships build trust in government and can help connect them to other resources in the community. Another outcome will be the development of a tool kit for other communities to do similar community-engaged work around stormwater. The project will also initiate an environmental educational program with K-6 students, which will have a continuing impact as the water quality and stream studies become part of the curriculum for students. The results of the surveys will provide the Stormwater Group rich information about how this community views their undeveloped/natural areas and how they would like to see them improved as well as how much the community engagement activities changed their outlook about the neighborhood over the two-year project.

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