Washington Park resident, Ms. Rosalind Cox lives near 35th and Galena. She tells a story of how the act of investing in the land through the creation of the community garden on the intersection of 35th Street and Galena Street has transformed behaviors and generated respect for this property from passersby. Before the community garden was built, trash riddled the street and people would thoughtlessly cut through the empty lot. After the garden was created, Cox noticed people pick up their trash, and even ask for permission to walk through the garden.
Clearly investment generates respect. Given the challenges of this multicultural neighborhood, a proper community development strategy must transcend cultural and generational divides. Acording to community leaders such as Ms. Cox, Alea Cross, Charles Carmickle, Pat Mueller, Phoua Vang, Mao Lee, and various children in the neighborhood, common ground can be easily found in food and entertainment.
This proposed catalytic development starts with a building, and quickly grows to provide space for community events- outdoor movies, a neighborhood “box” library, and space for an urban garden and market.