Murchison Road is one of Fayetteville’s best-known streets.
It is the home of Fayetteville State University, one of the nation’s most prestigious historically black colleges and universities. In addition to FSU, EE Smith High School is a few blocks away on Seabrook
Road. The City of Fayetteville is working to revitalize the Murchison Road Corridor, which begins
in Fort Bragg and ends in downtown Fayetteville.
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Through the Murchison Choice Project, the city is working with other government agencies to improve conditions for residents in the predominantly African American area. However, there is a veteran-owned non-profit organization that seeks to contribute to the growth and development of the Murchison Road Corridor.
Southern CC Inc., founded by Tony U. Brown, created the holistic You, Me, and Us community garden less than a mile from the Murchison Townhouses, the center of the Murchison Choice project. In its proposal, Southern CC states that the garden will “help the underserved in Fayetteville by improving community well-being by providing fresh organic produce and a space for healing and positive social engagement.”
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Currently YMUS covers 2 acres at 201 Stackpole Drive off Murchison Road. The garden is home to goats which were born by Southern CC directly on the property.
In addition to the goats, there is a dirt path for visitors to walk around without shoes, as they enjoy the peace and serenity. The veterans organization plans to continue its commitment to those who served by dedicating garden beds to fallen heroes. Additionally, Southern CC is seeking to partner with the Autism Society of America to provide people with autism with a safe space to interact with live animals.
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Southern CC hopes to have YMUS fully functional by summer 2024 with help from the community. However, the project is missing one vital piece, a water well. The well will provide the source of water needed to maintain the garden and help support the 6,824 residents of the area.
Thanks to community contributions, Southern CC has already started the work. But there is progress to be made. Southern CC CEO Tony U. Brown lobbied officials to include the garden in the neighborhood’s revitalization zone.
Local and state officials such as Councilwoman Yvonne Kinston and NC Senator Kirk Deviere can be seen touring the site. Councilman DJ Haire posted a message on Facebook praising Brown and Southern CC for their efforts.
Through a partnership with the Colorado-based organization LEMONS Foundation, a portion of the proceeds from the 2022 Dreamville Festival will benefit the YMUS Community Garden.
As the Murchison Road Corridor grows, YMUS will continue to grow. To learn more or contribute, visit www.southernccinc.org/ymus-holistic-community-garden or call (718) 344-7378. Hi Tony and all the activists getting active. Peace.
Rakeem “Keem” Jones is a community advocate and father of three from the Shaw Road/Bonnie Doone area of Fayetteville. He can be contacted at [email protected]