Sunday, July 24, 2011

The green South Bronx

Majora Carter, from the South Bronx realized that if she didn't care about her neighborhood, then nobody else would either.

As a teen Carter's attempts to leave her crime-ridden, polluted neighborhood of Hunts Point in New York City's South Bronx were successful. Having good grades in high school she earned her way into Connecticut's Wesleyan University.

After returning to New York City to begin her Masters degree Carter found herself broke and had no other option than to move in with her parents. Back to the neighborhood she wanted to escape.

After an impromptu visit to an illegal dumping ground near the  Bronx river, Carter's environmental tipping point had been reached.

She founded the Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 and in 2007 opened the Hunts Point Riverside Park.

"Environmental justice, or as I like to call it environmental equality, means that no community should have to bear the brunt of lots of environmental burdens and not enjoy some environmental benefits," she said.

Carter says that this area is home to 30-40 % of New York City's commercial waste handling, with about 60,000 diesel trucks driving through the community weekly. 

With each truck coming in Carter is coming up with initiatives to expand the green space.

The South Bronx Greenway will eventually be 11 miles of pedestrian and bike pathways complete with storm water management and recreational systems.

With one woman's love of a community many can live in a more beautiful place. 

Watch as Carter speaks passionately about her cause.