North Gulfport Community Landtrust celebrates accomplishments

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - He may be the newest member to the board, but Ritchie Moffett is ready to serve.

"I'm tired of living in the neighborhood.  I'm ready to be apart of the neighborhood and get real busy," says Moffett.

The year was certainly a busy one for the North Gulfport Community Landtrust.

"We're really excited about getting the education center up and going, and we're extremely proud of our community garden," says Founder Rose Johnson.

When finished, the two will sit where the old library and pool for the Good Deeds community center once stood, but the work has not stopped there.

"We have acquired a lot of land, 42 lots," says Johnson.

The lots will be used to build affordable housing. It's all part of the organization's mission, preserving the historic African-American heritage by re-investing in the community.  But, the adults weren't the only ones working in North Gulfport.

"People are so focused on what adults do that they never be focused on what the youth do.  We, as a youth council, got together and just showed them what we can do," says Nikeyia Jones with the North Gulfport Community Landtrust Youth Council.

What the youth have done is organize clean-up projects, plant the community garden and hold community forums with police.

Though he's only been on board two months, Moffett says he already knows this year's accomplishments are just the first of many to come.

"You're going to know who we are.  North Gulfport's going to stand out."

The Landtrust also played a major role in getting the first Kaboom playground built in North Gulfport. The education center, under construction, will have G.E.D. classes and education courses for adults and will open at the beginning of the year.