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Lowe's, Habitat for Humanity Partner to Help Southwood Community

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Volunteers from Lowe's work to clear a walking trail in the Southwood community. Volunteers from Lowe's work to clear a walking trail in the Southwood community.
Southwood is one of Albemarle County's largest affordable housing communities. Southwood is one of Albemarle County's largest affordable housing communities.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Albemarle County’ Southwood Community is going to look different thanks to a partnership between Charlottesville’s Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s.

Volunteers from both organizations were out on Tuesday to kick off the community’s beautification process.

Lowe’s awarded Habitat for Humanity a $100,000 grant to go toward redeveloping the Southwood Community. The grant will be put specifically toward community festivals and other improvement projects within the neighborhood.

“We’re here to help clean up some of the trails and make it accessible for older people and young people alike,” said Alan Levine of Lowe’s of Albemarle County. “It makes me feel good to help other people.”

On Tuesday, Lowe's employees were out alongside habitat volunteers while working to clear a walking trail. That trail circles the area designated for the neighborhood’s first-phase of redevelopment.

“The Southwood community is full of hard-working families that care deeply about their kids and their connections with each other,” said Jo Olson of Habitat for Humanity.

Volunteers say projects like this clear the way to form better community relations with the 1,500 people who live there.

“It’s totally worth it because it gives an opportunity for people to work side-by-side and build that connection and enjoy the tranquility of the park,” Olson said.

The project also serves as a vision for the future of one of Albemarle County’s largest affordable housing communities.

“It’s important to folks to be able to walk that land and start to dream about what the future neighborhood will look like,” Olson said.

Organizers with Habitat for Humanity say they are hoping to permanently maintain the neighborhood’s walking trail during and after redevelopment, adding they hope to connect it to the Biscuit Run property.

Habitat for Humanity says it hopes to break group on Phase One of Southwood’s redevelopment in 2020.