Norfolk, VA – Teens with a Purpose (TWP) – The Youth Movement builds hope through the project called Safe Creative Community Space (SCS) – a safe, welcoming neighborhood space for art, entertainment and learning in a beautiful, bountiful garden located central to the largest concentration of public housing in Norfolk. SCS
adds hope, art and food for the body and soul to the St. Paul’s Quadrant. Over the next five years, hundreds of the St. Paul Quadrants resident’s homes will begin to be demolished and families will be relocated. Having a respite, a place where peace and beauty resides is urgently important today and in the uncertainty of tomorrow
The development of the SCS, a city-owned vacant lot adjacent to the Vivian C. Mason Teen Center for Arts and Technology Center, 700 E. Olney Road
, started early summer of 2017. Several organizations banded together to turn a gravel lot into an oasis. Among the known positive impacts of the SCS are increased physical and mental health, leadership development, improved security and safety, reduce carbon footprint, capturing rainwater and of course, beautification of the area.
This space is by no means, a typical garden. Because TWP is no typical youth development organization. TWP’s mission is to create a platform that empowers young people to use their voice, creativity, reflection and action to affect personal growth, transform lives and impact communities through the arts and peer led programs and events. The space is adorned with original art and is full of color and life with is twenty six foot raised beds decorated by young artist.
On February 28th, Dr. C.L. Bohannon, Professor at Virginia Tech in Architecture & Design Research: Landscape Architecture, will lending his expertise to the project to propel the SCS into the next phase by leading a planning and development meeting. Dr. Bohannon’s research focuses on the relationship between community engagement and design education, primarily through design for social and environmental justice. Through his research Dr. Bohannon works in the landscape context of community history and identity, social/environmental (in) justice, and community learning. Dr. Bohannon was been recently named an Emerging Engagement Scholar by the Engagement Scholarship Consortium.
Following the meeting, community members are invited to help plant two Apple Trees at the SCS. Teens With a Purpose received the donated trees as part of the Innovative Award for Youth presented to the organization by Keep Norfolk Beautiful in 2017.
February 28th – Community Gathering – Phase 2 Planning and Development Meeting
Collaborative Partners, Contributors & Supporters include: City of Norfolk, The Mission Continues, Virginia Co-Operative Extension, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Norfolk Police Dept., Keep Norfolk Beautiful, Dominion Energy, Four Seasons Nursery, Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Young’s Terrace Community Center, EVMS, Norfolk Master Gardner’s SCCS Leadership Team: Deirdre Love, Chris Epes, Margaret Hatcher, Mark Moreno, Bill & Joanna Fowler, Sarah Williams, Lynn Francois, Theresa Augustin, Stefon ‘Dat Artist’ Penn, Karuum El, Alisha Burke, Michelle Sims, Emogene Johnson.