By Ignacio Dayrit, Director of Programs
Two recent events highlight the importance of youth involvement in rural brownfields redevelopment.
At the Redevelopment Rodeo - Small Town session at the National Brownfields Conference 2017, Megan Alameda, a high school teacher at Baker City (Oregon, between Pendleton and Boise, Idaho), presented the Oddfellows Building project in their downtown. At that session, the Rodeo Wranglers provided her advice on different ways the community could position the building to attract community and business uses - many of which were consistent with the Megan's students ideas. Through their PhotoVoice project, they highlighted the challenges and opportunities that the building provided, in the context of their downtown and town, which is in a very rural and scenic part of Oregon.
Megan Alameda and her students from Baker City, OR.
On December 16, the City of Fresno hosted a community workshop as part of their Brownfields Areawide Planning grant. A team of consultants and partners designed exercises for community members to identify the challenges of the Elm Avenue corridor in Southwest Fresno, and the types of uses that they would like the see. The workshop included a PhotoVoice exhibition and presentation by the students of sections along Elm Avenue which they found unwelcoming, dangerous or undesirable. Implicit in their comments were the desires for affordable housing, active uses and complete streets, which were the very elements that resonated with workshop attendees.
Arogenane Brown, a former member of the Fresno Youth Council and now studying for a master's in business agriculture, addresses the youth at the meeting..
Baby Boomers left many challenges for younger generations to clean up after. CCLR will continue to facilitate and participate in these efforts to create futures which our youth can sustainably live in.