The Walnut Creek Wetland Community Partnership, the NC Water Resources Research Institute, and The Conservation Fund are working hand-in-hand with residents and a variety of partners through the Parks with Purpose initiative to identify, protect, and restore land for a new park or greenspace that will provide a variety of social, economic, and environmental benefits for the Walnut Creek community.  

A Comprehensive Approach to Conservation

In Raleigh, the Parks with Purpose project is focusing on increasing access to greenspace among South East Raleigh residents. By integrating environmental education and advocacy with community outreach and development, the Fund takes a comprehensive approach to urban conservation. With climate change impacting the intensity and frequency of storms, Wetlands are a crucial environmental buffer for the excessive flooding that is exacerbated by the impervious concrete and pavement that make up our built environments. Wetlands provide many ecological benefits such as absorbing and filtering sediment, nutrients, and pollutants, while also recharging groundwater resources and providing precious habitat for biodiverse animals and plants. Wetlands are increasingly threatened by development pressures and pollution so increasing opportunities to get community members recreating and protecting their wetlands is the Parks with Purpose approach to supporting the resilience of the environment and the community. community benefits of wetland conservation.  

Why This Project Matters

Through the Parks with Purpose project, the WCWCP and The Fund, are providing support and capacity building to local environmental non-profits and youth leaders committed to environmental science, stewardship, and advocacy. Organizations such as the Partnership for Environmental Justice and St. Ambrose Church are working together in the WCWCP Task Force to brainstorm new ways to incorporate broader community participation and support for enhancing green space development south of the Walnut Creek Wetland Park. Historically African American, South East Raleigh still faces the economic and environmental challenges that are the legacy of racial inequities. As an environmental justice campaign, the WCWCP and The Fund are working to incorporate economic, social, and environmental outcomes through developing a community-driven Parks with Purpose project in South East Raleigh.  

ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY PARTNERS 

American Rivers 
Carolina Wetland Association 
Center for Human and Earth Restoration 
Fuller Elementary 
Institute for Landscape Art and Sustainable Spaces 
Kris Bass Engineering 
Natural Learning Initiative NCSU College of Design 
NCSU College of Natural Resources 
Partners for Environmental Justice 
St Ambrose Episcopal Church 
Triangle Greenway Council 
Walnut Creek Wetland Center 
Water Resources Research Institute