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Neighborhood association celebrates non-profit status

SELMA — About 40 residents of the Riverview neighborhood heard good news about their association receiving its non-profit status.

The Riverview Neighborhood Association announced its new 501 (c) 3 status Monday night at a gathering at the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum.

The Rev. Karl Lewis made the announcement.

The non-profit status will enable this neighborhood association in Ward 3 to continue its revitalization, Lewis said.

“We’re serious and on the move to take back our neighborhood and revitalize it,” he said.

Karen Weir, one of the homeowners in the association, said the non-profit status would allow the group to accept a house from Nancy Smith of the Historical Society as a community center. The house is on Alabama.

Members of the association have planned programs already, including one that will help residents learn how to repair and renovate their historical houses.

Additionally, the city has agreed to allow the association the use of two vacant lots behind Vaughan-Smitherman, which Weir said would be used as community gardens. The association will work with state Rep. Yusuf Salaam and the state Department of Agriculture to establish gardens using plasticulture. Plasticulture calls for covering the ground with plastic, once the soil is prepared for growing and poking holes in the plastic to plant the seedlings. The plastic keeps in moisture, but prevents many weeds from growing among the plants.

Projects, such as the garden and home repair skills training show the community can and will work together, Lewis said.