Residents of Fondren’s Broadmeadow neighborhood are diligently working to revitalize the top of Fondren and one woman is leading the charge. Chuck Wise, the matriarch of the movement, is attempting to utilize the resources of the Mississippi Urban Forest Council and other local organizations, bringing her considerable enthusiasm to the project. Wade Thompson, an intern architect and vice president of the Broadmeadow Neighborhood Association says Wise is the woman for the job.  “She is amazingly accommodating in trying to bring new people to the table,” Thompson said

Wise is looking at ideas that may seem a bit off the beaten path and is trying to find a way to incorporate them into Broadmeadow. “She wants the neighborhood to be seen as THE place to open a new business or buy a home.”

To that end, a greening workshop will be held in the top of Fondren on August 2. Publicist Maureen Smith says it’s a day of free workshops to help teach how a green infrastructure can help businesses and how they can get started. “The sessions will also focus on green initiatives like bike paths, community gardens and neighborhood beautification,” she told us.

But more than that, the workshops will help to begin a shift in thinking. “We want to see the same redevelopment in the top of Fondren that we have seen in the central business district over the last ten years,” he said. Thompson told us Wise’s efforts are like a spark that creates a flame. “Let’s involve folks from all organizations like FRF, OurFondren and others who already know how to make things happen.” Thompson said planners are trying to get smarter, more involved people to invest their time in the neighborhood. “It’s a real sense of community here and we’re wanting to promote the success of the whole.”

The Fondren Greening Workshop will be held August 2 from 8:30am – 4:30pm at Fondren Hall at 4330 North State Street (adjacent to Room By Room, formerly Primos Northgate). Participants can drop in or stay all day. Lunch is available by reservation from High Noon Cafe for a cost of $10. The workshop is free. Get more info at topoffondren.com or by emailing MaureenCatherineSmith@gmail.com.