Youth Free Summer MealsEdith and Carrie is currently a site for the free lunch program, thanks to Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Department, USD, and a few neighborhood residents and youth who volunteer to staff the lunch program all throughout the summer. Kids ages 2-17 are invited to enjoy a free brown bag lunch all summer long.
Edith & Carrie Park
Thanks to a couple of key neighbors, the park was nicely maintained throughout the spring, summer, and fall. There were also a couple day events where more surrounding residents came and helped work on some park projects. One big project that was completed was the clearing of many weeds and leveling of a hillside on the East side of the park, and leveling the grass where an irrigation system was installed spring of 2014 by BMAC.
Neighborhood cleanliness continues to be a common theme among residents. Neighbors work together to clean up alley ways and get rid of personal trash. They help each other load their trash into big garbage bins that were provided by the City of Walla Walla thanks to a Match Grant from the Sherwood Trust and support from the city. These projects build neighborhood pride, engender a sense of accomplishment, and develop skills and confidence in the residents.
In November of 2015, BMAC completed and opened Carrie Center across the street from Carrie Park. This space will serve as a natural gathering place for neighbors in Edith & Carrie. Carrie Center will also be used for afterschool programs and meetings of other nonprofits in the community.
Habitat for Humanity HousesHabitat for Humanity is nearing completion of a new house on Edith Street. The house will belong to a well-deserving family who is has been getting to know their new neighbors as they pitch in on the construction.
Habitat for Humanity has announced plans to build three more houses, all on Carrie Street. These construction projects are being done as a partnership with BMAC. Habitat's projects are an exciting development for the neighborhood. They will give deserving families, and volunteers, the chance to build houses and build social capital.
Playground and Basketball CourtAt the Edith and Carrie Neighborhood Park, neighbors, community volunteers, and C2C staff built a half size basketball court and playground equipment during the summer of 2010. This was made possible with a donation from the Walla Walla Noon Rotary Club and a neighborhood match fund grant from the Sherwood Trust.
Storage ShedSince the fall of 2008, the Edith-Carrie neighbors have volunteered their time to maintain and beautify their park, located on Carrie St. and 9th Ave. At one of the neighborhood meetings in the spring of 2009, neighbors requested garden tools and a safe place to store them. C2C Outreach Organizers worked with the neighbors to assist in the development of an action plan. Neighbors built a 12’X16’ storage shed and also purchased garden maintenance tools, including a power mower.
Infrastructure Repair and Replacement Project (IRRP)Early in 2012 we started getting ready for the Infrastructure Repair and Replacement Project (IRRP) in Edith in Carrie. The IRRP is the city’s plan to fix the old failing water and sewer pipes around the city. Due to a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) there was extra funding to repair the streets, add sidewalks, and more street lighting in the neighborhood. There were three public meetings held by the City of Walla Walla, Anderson and Perry Engineering Firm, and Commitment to Community to inform residents about the project and provide them with the opportunity to ask question or address any concerns. The construction phase was started in June. Construction was completed by mid- November.
Neighborhood HistoryC2C was about a year old as an organization when it first became involved with the Edith-Carrie Neighborhood (ECN). This isolated neighborhood is immediately adjacent to the Washington State Penitentiary, at the northwest edge of town. An industrial and commercial zone cut this neighborhood off from others; and it seemed as if drugs, crime and slum housing were the norm. The Police Department often dealt with complaints and code violations, while long-term residents stayed behind closed doors not bothering to get to know their next door neighbors.
The first neighborhood meeting was on March 16, 2006. Due to the nearly 50:50 mix of English and Spanish speaking neighbors in this neighborhood of eighty households, one neighbor acted as translator and helped both English and Spanish speaking folks to engage in conversation. One meeting led to many, and soon many neighbors came together to express their concerns. Neighbors agreed that the neighborhood lacked a park or a common gathering space, where children could play safely and where neighbors could enjoy each other's company.
"When you first asked me, 'What is my dream for my neighborhood?' I thought you guys were crazy. People like us don't dream. Now, I've changed my mind about that!"
~ECN long-time neighbor
This lead to the creation of the Edith Carrie neighborhood park. By July of 2007 the neighbors' concerns of the condition of properties in the Edith-Carrie Neighborhood (ECN) sparked an interest. With support from the Donald and Virginia Sherwood Trust, Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) purchased eleven dilapidated properties in the ECN. BMAC requested the help of a non-profit firm that specializes in creating common space, that incorporates community-oriented design, an emphasis on art, the environment, and ecology . This firm, Pomegranate Center, was involved in the first Community Forum in March 2004 that planted the seed that later became C2C. The Executive Director, Milenko Matanovic, was delighted to re-engage with Walla Walla. A second major neighborhood meeting was planned to incorporate neighborhood ideas of common space with Pomegranate's experience of designing function and form around ideas.
For more information about the Pomegranate Center please visit their website: www.pomegranate.org