Louisiana Brownfields Association Awarded Limitless Vistas’
Student a Scholarship to attend the 2013 Brownfields Conference
The Louisiana Brownfields Association awarded Limitless Vistas’ (LVI) graduate, Ms. Jacquelle Goff, a scholarship to attend the Annual Brownfields Conference that was held in Atlanta, Georgia in May. For Jacquelle this was an opportunity for her to explore the different careers in the environmental industry, witness the magnitude of the conference and get a better understanding of how Brownfields impact communities.
What an Opportunity
By Jacquelle Goff- Student
As a new student in the Brownfields industry, I was honored to hear that I had received the very first annual scholarship from the Brownfields Louisiana Association to attend the 2013 annual Brownfields conference. This year the conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia where there were plenty of actual Brownfields sites that had been revitalized within the surrounding communities. Right in the heart of the City was where the conference was held at the Georgia Center. Thousands of professional from all across the nation who were all major stakeholders in the development of Brownfields spent time there. Also on the list of honored guests was Mathy Stanislaus who talked about how it was a great time for everyone to come together and seize this opportunity to build America’s downtowns, create jobs and meet the needs for livable communities. Ryan Gavel offered an architect’s perspective on urban planning many times using his time spent in Paris, France as a model. Dr. Manuel Pastor was also a keynote speaker sharing his thoughts on economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities. Lastly, I was able to meet and greet with the Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and tell her of my new found interest in the community and community service.
The annual Brownfields conference proved to be a more exciting experience that I had originally thought. I was able to meet with so many professionals from across the nation who in some way worked within the field. The plenary sessions with the keynote speakers were very informative and motivational. I sat in on a few of the educational sessions and learned a good bit of new information as well. They discussed things from ways to sustain communities, innovative ways to revitalize communities and even issues in environmental justice.
Once the many professionals learned that I was the recipient of the 1st annual scholarship, they were more than willing to share their success stories with me. They included stories of how they began, what they do in their communities to spur economic growth, revitalize their communities, restore the environment and help protect the public health. This was such an amazing networking and educational event for me. I learned about how building partnerships can lead to sustaining successful communities and how there are so many techniques and practices to continue the efforts of redevelopment.
It was an inspiration to hear how the work I had been learning to do could be linked to such growth and equity in our nation’s communities. Environmental justice plays a major role in this as well as activism. Many of the community leaders were on-site and able to share difficulties they had faced in their communities and how they were able to overcome them. Working with local, state and federal governments to improve their environments left them and the room with a sense of pride. Projects may take a while but once the revitalization is done everyone benefits and that is what I took most from the conference. Brownfields is truly a team effort that the entire nation can and does benefit from.