Project Summary

Recent efforts undertaken by the CDDL have provided the City of Lumberton, North Carolina with design and planning technical assistance focused on land-use recommendations and design strategies for vacant parcels resulting from catastrophic flooding. The product of this effort, the Lumberton Floodprint report, proposes methods that strategically combine FEMA acquisition properties (i.e., “buy outs”) with existing parks and recreation assets to create a connected system of educational, recreational, and environmental amenities in areas that are otherwise vulnerable to environmental hazards, vacancy and neglect. Outcomes of this research show strong potential to reduce flood risk and enhance public safety related to repetitive flood-loss properties and improve long-term environmental function within historically flood-prone areas.

The findings of the Lumberton Floodprint study were disseminated to community leaders through a presentation to the Lumberton City Council. The activities undertaken through the Phase 1 study enabled key discussions with community decision makers and, ultimately, served to generate interest in pursuing specific proposals contained within the report. City of Lumberton leadership and other potential partners have requested additional research and design assistance for the two project areas being studied in this Phase 2 effort.

The second phase of the Lumberton Floodprint focuses on two areas: 1) Meadow Branch Floodway Restoration adjacent to the Best Drive neighborhood, and 2) Repurposing the Scottish Meatpacking Plant property into an environmental outreach and education amenity associated with the Lumber River State Park and/or NC Wildlife Resource Commission. The project is undertaking research, engagement, design, and communication activities including, but not limited to: [1] a minimum of three community workshops in each project area to elicit participation and input from neighborhood residents and two meetings with city council/staff; [2] hydrologic modeling and development of schematic restoration concepts for Meadow Branch; [3] development of schematic design alternatives for both project areas to be used by the city as evidence/leverage for seeking larger implementation grants and to inform respective requests for proposals (RFPs); and [4] continued evaluation of issues and opportunities related to both Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence impacts (i.e., FEMA flood map updates, incorporation of new property acquisition data, etc.), including associated updates and revisions to the Lumberton Loop Plan, as proposed in the first phase of the Lumberton Floodprint process.

The goals of all processes undertaken and products delivered by the CDDL and its partners include: [1] reduce the impacts of environmental hazards, specifically flooding; [2] increase public access to the benefits of nature and recreation; [3] reduce the impact of environmental hazards; [4] meaningfully engage local and regional stakeholders, including serving vulnerable communities through participatory activities; and [5] develop feasible, contextually appropriate and high-performing designs for each of the focus areas.

 

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