NC State University

Sponsored By
Partners For Environmental Justice
Formerly Episcopalians for Environrnental Justice

St. Ambrose Episcopal Church
813 Darby Street
Raleigh, NC 27610

Norman Camp, Ph. D.
Chairman Ed Milligan, Co-Chair

Brief Definition Of Our Project:
Walnut Creek 2000 is a grassroots interracial project designed to extend to Southeast Raleigh - a predominately African American community - the same economic, educational, and beautification benefits realized by the rest of the City of Raleigh through a wetland restoration project. It will:

  1. reduce flooding and provide for land clean up, thus raising residential property values and improving the economic level of businesses
  2. build a wetland educational park
  3. beautify a wetland pond located within a proposed industrial park and on a major artery into the city
  4. provide clean water via Walnut Creek for those living downstream on the Neuse River and eventually reduce problem chemicals in North Carolina's estuaries
Walnut Creek 2000 Project has many beneficial aspects and will specifically address the following:
A. Wetlands Restoration:
Wetlands are essential for clean water. They either serve as a wasteland trash receptor or as a filter system for water that flows out of suburban land development, urban overcrowding, or from agriculture-livestock run-off. The wetland that the Partners for Environmental Justice Committee selected for its Walnut Creek 2000 project development has previously been the receptor of large amounts of trash. This prevented the wetland from doing its ecological task of preventing flooding, creating clean water, and a wildlife habitat.
B. Interracial Participation:
The wetland is located in a predominately African-American Southeast Raleigh Community. A major goal of this project is to provide a place where members of differing racial heritages can work together to accomplish an agreed upon goal resulting in a better understanding and appreciation of racial diversity and a need to work together to conserve our environment. We believe that when people work together for the good they see the good in each other.

C. Economic Improvements:

  • A tour of the 'parklands' of the City of Raleigh will reveal that historically those areas of the city outside Southeast Raleigh have received preferential treatment with regards to funding projects for recreational and educational development. This project is helping to rectify that.
  • Those people who purchased property and live near the wetland did so without knowing that they were going to live in a flood plain area. Nor were they aware that when the NCDOT built 1-40 in their midst that water run-off from that highway when dumped into this community could cause devastating flood damage. Flooding has caused some residents to rebuild portions of their homes three times in the last 10 years and they no longer have insurance companies willing to pay for these essential projects. Thus, this project will reverse this problem resulting in property appreciation like the rest of the Triangle rather than property deprecation that is economically devastating.
D. Wetlands Education:
One aspect of this project is to take 61 acres of the designated area to create a Wake County Urban Wetlands Educational Park which can become part of the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Greenways system and part of North Carolina's Environmental Education Program. The purpose is to demonstrate that wetlands are an essential aspect of an environmentally sound community. We have already gained the participation of the Wetlands Restoration Project that uses Clean Water Management Trust Funds and the North Carolina State University's School of Design Landscape Architects as well as the enthusiasm of children attending the several public and charter schools near the site. In addition, students from North Carolina State University, St. Augustine's College and Shaw College have participated.
E. Recreational Benefits:
By providing the wetlands educational park, we will have the knowledge and experience to build a Wetlands Bog Garden in what we call the 'Hammond Pond' area of this project which rests between Garner Road and Hammond Road. Eventually it will not only provide a source of pride in the community, but will provide an inner-city quiet zone for urban workers, for families, for walkers and joggers, and a healthy habitat for wildlife.
F. A Spiritual Experience:
This project promises to lift the human spirits of a rather depressed area of the city. The local community will find it a source of pride rather than the present 'trash dump' mentality. This will help the Southeast Raleigh region to feel that their needs are being appreciated and something done about them We know of no feasible project in our community that has more benefits to offer the citizens of Raleigh, the county of Wake, or the State of North Carolina.
G. Building Awareness:
The partnership will raise community awareness about the special purpose of wetlands and the environment through the communications media, presentations to a large variety of groups, networking with as many community groups as possible, newsletters and community meetings with residents and neighbors, and well advertised wetlands clean ups. The first community clean up was held on 11/21/98 with 85 citizens participating. A second on 3/20/99 was the Wake County kickoff for the National Keep America Beautiful clean up to take place from mid -March through May 1999. More than 200 citizens participated. Eventually the Wetlands Educational Park will serve as a focal point for such activities in future years.
Brief Summary of the Project:
This broad-based environmentally sensitive project made up of citizens of Wake County is in the process of restoring an urban wetland to its former state prior to numerous years of abuse and environmental neglect. It will establish the wetland as a natural educational park that will improve the water quality of the Neuse River and its basin; demonstrate to the public the reason for the conservation of wetlands; create a healthy wildlife habitat; beautify the designated area near downtown Raleigh; and provide a neglected Southeast Raleigh with a valuable recreational resource to be incorporated into the City of Raleigh's Greenway system. Further, the project will work to secure government help to improve the quality of life and the improvement of property values in the immediate neighborhoods. Some of these neighborhoods are generally economically poor and regularly flooded by moderate rainfall due to poor storm water control that has not kept pace with development in other Raleigh communities.

Partners For Environmental Justice
Board Of Directors

Walnut Creek 2000 has applied for a 501 (c)3 status with a Board of Directors made up of 11 distinguished citizens of the Wake County community.
Norman Camp, Ph. D., Chair
North Carolina Deparment of Public Instruction
Vestry, St. Ambrose Episcopal Church
Liason with Southeut Raleigh Community
Ed Mulligan, Co-chair
North Carolina State University Marine Biology
Liaison with St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Cary
Liaison with Episcopal Diocese Environmental Committee
Carlolyn Winters, Secretary
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Grants Management
Joseph Springer, Treasurer
North Carolina Department of Tranportation
Vestry & Treasurer, St. Ambrose Episcopal Church
The Reverend R. Franklin Gose, Project Director
Vicar of Trinity Episcopal Church Fuquay-Varina
Assistant Rector, St. Arnbrose Episcopal Church
The Reverend Arthur Calloway
Retired Former member of Raleigh City Council
Anthony Flanagan Esquire
Attorney with Wood & Francis, PLLC
Karen McGee
Glaxco-Welcome Technical Staff
Liaison with Raleigh Unitarian-Universalist Church
William McNeill, Ph.D.
Superintendent Wake County Public Scbools
Peter Morris, MD., M.P.H.
Director Wake County Human Services Family Success
Former Director of Wake County Public Health
Liason with Trinity Episcopal Church Fuquay-Varina, NC
Doug Rader, Ph.D Senior Scientist
Environmental Defense Fund
Brenda Sanders
Wake County Public Schools, Pre-school Administration
Liason with Top Ladies of Distinction of Raleigh
Liason with Southeast Raleigh Community
Charles Wheeler
Well known Raleigh and NCSU public servant

Project Publicity

"Church group is talking trash"
News and Observer
August 24,1998

"Residents aim for permanent cleanup of dump"
News and Observer FollowUp
February 11, 1999

"Cleanup on State Street"
News and Observer
February 15, 1999

"Support shown for grant to assess contamination"
News and Observer
February 17, 1999

Spell of the Land Symposium
North Carolina State University
Use of Space, Sense of Place
November 8, 2000
Partners for Environmental Justice
Centennial Campus Middle School Eight Grade Environmentalists

Return to the Wetland Menu

Return to the Wetland Menu
Return to the October 2000 Presentation
Return to the Spell of the Land Presentation