- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- UNC Charlotte Honors College and Charlotte Action Research Project Interviews on Charlotte Neighborhoods
- Small But Significant : The Optimist Park Community
- Mary Heath oral history interview, 2015 October 17
Mary Heath oral history interview, 2015 October 17
Mary Heath, a Charlotte native, describes her life and experiences as a longtime resident of Optimist Park. Mrs. Heath discusses growing up in the Hickory Grove area of Charlotte and how desegregation impacted her education. She describes how she came to live in Optimist Park and how her children"s involvement in the Boy Scouts of America and Habitat for Humanity impacted that decision. She recalls the camaraderie that resulted from building her own and others" Habitat houses, and discusses her community involvement as secretary for the Optimist Park Community Association and as a member of the Fifteenth Street Church of God. Mrs. Heath reflects on significant changes within her community including rapid growth, increased diversity, and a reduction in drug and alcohol use. While she sees these changes as beneficial to the neighborhood, she is also cautious about the future of the community and how it will be impacted by pressures of new development and domination by the adjacent North Davidson arts district .