CN Railway Grant Announcement at Bottom Gardens Park - Feb. 12th at 11 a.m.

We have good news!

Please see the press release below about a recent grant and an event this coming Tuesday to announce a park being developed in West Jackson. This project is led by Rosemont Human Services, a local nonprofit, in partnership with Revitalize Mississippi, the Mississippi Urban Forest Council and many other volunteers and partners. The grant was awarded by Canadian National Railway to the City of Jackson, and will be completely used for purchasing of plant materials for the park and other nearby property around Lake Elementary School and Rosemont MB Church.

The lots where the park is located were blighted properties that have been cleared by Revitalize Mississippi. Some planting has already been done thanks to volunteers provided by the Junior League of Jackson for one of their MLK Day Connecting Communities projects.

We would love it if you could come to the event at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 12 at 4301 Officer Thomas Catchings Dr. We will be on site at the park property. It will only last about 30-40 minutes, but I'm sure there will be plenty of time to talk afterward. Feel free to forward this email to anyone you feel may be interested in this project, as we are always looking for more partners to work with to revitalize this West Jackson neighborhood.

We hope to see you out there!



Volunteers on MLK Day helped begin the landscaping at Bottom Gardens, a new park owned by Rosemont Human Services across from Lake Elementary School in Jackson. The volunteers were organized through a Junior League of Jackson Connecting Communities Event.

Volunteers on MLK Day helped begin the landscaping at Bottom Gardens, a new park owned by Rosemont Human Services across from Lake Elementary School in Jackson. The volunteers were organized through a Junior League of Jackson Connecting Communities Event.

City of Jackson Receives CN Railway Grant

Jackson, MS – The City of Jackson received a $25,000 grant for tree planting and beautification throughout the city. The project includes developing an arboretum at a new park across from Lake Elementary School and adding fruit trees, gardens, and landscaping on the adjacent Rosemont M. B. Church property; and a linear park along Lynch Creek. The Mississippi Urban Forest Council wrote the grant for the city and will help with all aspects of project implementation. Local groups that will also participate in the projects are: Rosemont Church, Human Service and Community Land Trust, Lake Elementary School, Junior League of Jackson, Revitalize MS, and Foot Print Farms. ―Change does not come on thoughts alone; because we have a revolutionary ideology and give speeches on it. It comes because you can change the material conditions of people, and get people to assist in the change, be the mainstay in the change in their conditions.‖ – Mayor Chokwe Lumumba (Former Mayor of Jackson)

A press event with representatives from the CN, America In Bloom and the MS Urban Forest Council will be held at Bottom Gardens – 4301 Officer Thomas Catchings, Sr. Drive, Jackson, MS (across from Viola E. Lake Elementary School) – on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. ―We are proud to bring this opportunity to six Mississippi cities: Yazoo City, Terry, Canton, Jackson, Byram, and McComb. These types of activities are significant improvements to the community. The social impact of green space, trees and gardens can be particularly pronounced when public spaces are transformed into places of beauty that foster safe places for neighborhood interaction, economic and property value enhancement, and improves the lives of those that live in or visit the community.‖ according to Donna Yowell, executive director of the MUFC.

CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately $250 billion worth of goods annually for the wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America. CN –Canadian National Railroad Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries—serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Montreal New Orleans, Mobile and Jackson, MS with connections to all points in North America.

America in Bloom envisions communities across the country as welcoming and vibrant places to live, work and play – benefitting from colorful plants and trees; enjoying clean environments; celebrating heritage; and planting pride through volunteerism. America In Bloom promotes nationwide beautification through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements. America in Bloom is an independent non-profit 501©3 organization and contributions to AIB are tax deductible.

For more details on the grant program, please check The Mississippi Urban Forest Council is Mississippi’s own statewide nonprofit that works with communities and local groups to improve quality of life and support strong communities for economic success on a local level. MUFC was recently recognized by the MS Business Journal as one of Mississippi’s best nonprofits. We are thrilled to work so very closely with the City of Jackson and to provide this opportunity for more enhancement to our state. These projects will begin a series of Arboretums in the state and these cities will become part of the Mississippi Arboretum Trail. ―Help Green Our Communities. Trees enhance property values, improve the look and feel of commercial areas, and even help reduce crime! The Mississippi Urban Forest Council and its’ volunteers, the Urban Forest Masters have planted over 379,000 trees and donated over 3 million flower bulbs in Mississippi since 2010. For more information on Mississippi programs visit our web site at

Contact Donna Yowell,

Executive Director Mississippi Urban Forest Council

Phone: 601-672-0755


Clarion-Ledger: In this west Jackson neighborhood, blight doesn't erase hope

Two nonprofits — Revitalize Mississippi and the Rosemont Community Land Trust —have partnered to address rundown properties near Denver’s school.

Last year, the groups held a public demolition across from Lake Elementary, flattening two houses.

“There’s so much blight, I’d love to see a bulldozer come knock it down, clear out everything,” said Stacey Donaldson, the director of the Rosemont Community Land Trust. “I would love to see all of those houses knocked down, but you’ve got to have something to come back up as well.

True revitalization is more of a marathon than a blitzkrieg.

Read more…

Find it in Fondren: "Big Impacts: Revitalize Mississippi’s Andy Frame"

“We’re trying to flip the pancake.”

It’s a phrase Andy Frame, executive director of Revitalize Mississippi, has borrowed from the non-profit’s founder, Jim Johnston.

Frame explains, “There’s a negative perception of the city of Jackson because there are so many houses and properties that have been vacant and abandoned for years. If a house burns down and it isn’t cleaned up right away, then the houses around it are abandoned pretty quickly. It spreads like a cancer; it’s contagious.”

Read more at Find it in Fondren

Yes Magazine: "After Centuries of Housing Racism, a Southern City Gets Innovative"

"Working solely with donors, nonprofit organization Revitalize Mississippi raised $150,000 in private donations for Rosemont Human Services Inc. to form a community land trust. Revitalize Mississippi plans to donate demolition and lot cleanup services to a target neighborhood, while Rosemont CLT Inc. will use its seed money during the startup and planning phases. Revitalize Mississippi Director Andy Frame said the CLT model has a proven track record, however long the startup process takes." Read more at Yes Magazine

Press Release for RHS Press Conference, Demolitions, and Community Meeting

Rosemont Human Services and Rosemont M.B. Church
3930 Officer Thomas Catchings Dr.

For Immediate Release:  Monday, November 13, 2017

Contact:  Stacey Donaldson   
(601) 951-7580

***MEDIA ADVISORY: Rosemont Human Services, Inc., a Mississippi nonprofit corporation, to hold press conference and community meeting in conjunction with demolition of two blighted neighborhood houses at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, November 16, 2017.***

Rosemont Human Services will hold a press conference announcing the formation of a Community Land Trust, prior to the demolition of two dilapidated houses in the community. 

The demolitions, donated by Revitalize Mississippi, will take place at 102 Lindsey Dr. and 4301 Officer Thomas Catchings Dr., directly across from Lake Elementary School. 

After the demolitions, RHS will host a community meeting to discuss how the Rosemont Community Land Trust will work to revitalize the neighborhood and provide newly remodeled affordable housing to the community. 

Lunch will be provided for free during the meeting to anyone who would like to attend. 

All media outlets are invited to attend.

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) have swept the country as tools for neighborhood revitalization due to their fair and resilient approach to neighborhood development. CLTs act as community-owned and community-operated stewards of the land. CLTs preserve affordability perpetually while helping CLT homeowners build wealth in a stable home environment. 

Rosemont plans to develop the Rosemont CLT throughout the neighborhood surrounding the Rosemont M.B. Church. While the Rosemont CLT is in its startup phase, Revitalize Mississippi, Inc., a Mississippi nonprofit corporation, will donate its lot cleanup and demolition services to Rosemont to assist the community in eliminating blight in the area. 

Mother's Day

Lola was our first applicant for demolition of 2 houses next to her home. As it turns out, the work was done on May 14 (Mother’s Day). She has greatly enhanced her living environment.

WLOX: Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Community Improvement and the battle against blight


JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A new administration; a new commitment to addressing Jackson’s blight problem; Three On Your Side investigates ways to help you take back our neighborhoods.

“I’m grateful for you, you all come out over and over again and I do believe that you all played a major role,” said Terry Byrd.

Click here to watch the video and read the article.

Jackson Free Press coverage

Jackson Free Press coverage

Secretary of State and Revitalize Mississippi Partner to Eliminate Blight

JACKSON — The Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Jim Johnston, founder of the nonprofit organization Revitalize Mississippi, announced their partnership to eliminate blight in the City of Jackson this morning.

Johnston and Hosemann stood with Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and several city council members at 3120 Sears St. on a lot where a blighted property once stood. Behind them, another dilapidated house, which the State owned before neighbors purchased it, stood waiting to be demolished.