Gathering learns about past, present, future of Youngstown’s South side

The future of Youngstown’s South side was the topic at an April 19 get together at the Oak Hill Collaborative.  Chris Davidson brings us the story.

Sean Posey, a local historian and professor, spoke with a group of 40 people about the “Past, Present and Future of the South Side” during a gathering April 19 at the Oak Hill Collaborative. He would like to see local institutions become more involved in the city neighborhoods. Job creation is also important. Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org

Sean Posey, a local historian and professor, spoke with a group of 40 people about the “Past, Present and Future of the South Side” during a gathering April 19 at the Oak Hill Collaborative. He would like to see local institutions become more involved in the city neighborhoods. Job creation is also important. Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org

Historian and Eastern Gateway Professor, Sean Posey says the key not only for the South side, but the city’s future is to create jobs.

POSEY: Some people say it’ll be shale, some people say it’ll be business incubator and then some people say it’ll be local entrepreneurs. So, it’s kind of up in the air.

As for the South side …

POSEY: Some people think we just need to turn it into green space and Mill Creek Park needs to take it over. Some people want to build urban farms here.

One of those urban farmers is Sophia Buggs.

BUGGS: I am considered what is called a specialty crop grower, so I am doing a host of vegetables along with flowers and herbs, micro greens and mushrooms

Sophia Buggs, an urban farmer, plans to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs on her property and sell them at local farmer’s markets. She is working with the county land bank to buy lots adjacent to her property. Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org

Sophia Buggs, an urban farmer, plans to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs on her property and sell them at local farmer’s markets. She is working with the county land bank to buy lots adjacent to her property. Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org

Buggs is working with the Mahoning County Land Bank to acquire additional lots near her home.

BUGGS: It is considered 1.2 acres, which is nine lots. I grew up right there. My home sits literally on the back face of it, so it is my homestead. It is where I live.

One thing that’s in abundance on the South side is vacant land. Posey identifies the 1960s as the time period in which residents started leaving the South side. And for the last two decades, more people left the South side than other area of the city. Those migrations have resulted in acres of vacant and abandoned properties.

For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Chris Davidson.

TheNewsOutlet.org is a collaborative effort among the Youngstown State University journalism program, The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Community College and professional media outlets including, WYSU-FM Radio and The Vindicator (Youngstown), The Beacon Journal and Rubber City Radio (Akron). 

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