Residents draw pictures of redevelopment ideas for West Montgomery

Roselia Harris draws a picture of her vision for a site near Selma.
Roselia Harris draws a picture of her vision for a site near Selma.

Posted by:  Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Roselia Harris has an idea.

"A little park, with trees, flowers, table, walking trail, bicycle trail, and a gift shop."

It's an idea for a special spot along the Historic Civil Rights Trail.

"That was my grandmother's site," she says.  "She was the person who let the Civil Rights people stay on her site."

And now Roselia wants to freshen it up.  She and others plan to bring change in West Montgomery.

It's all part of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management's Brownfield program. Leaders receive federal grants to assess and help clean up abandoned areas like old gas stations or industrial sites--places where industry or other activity contaminated the property.

After crews assess the site, they help owners clean it up and use suggestions, and in this case, drawings from residents for redevelopment.

"The goal is to get them revitalized, get them assessed, cleaned up, and put them back into productive use," says Larry Norris with the Department of Environmental Management.

State leaders say revitalization could be anything from commercial or industrial activity, to parks or schools.

So far, the department is looking at 24 sites along the trail.  And even though Roselia isn't as confident in her creative abilities when she says, "I can't draw but the vision is there," she has high hopes for the future.

"This is something that can go on and on for generations and generations."

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