Avalon Village turns blight into beauty

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 19:10:15-04

A movement is underway in Highland Park to turn blight into beauty. It’s called Avalon Village, a self-sustaining eco-village. 

It’s the dream of Shamayim “Mama Shu” Harris and it was born out of a tragedy. In 2007, her young son was killed by a hit-and-run driver. 

To cope with the grief, she built a park in his memory and began mentoring kids in the neighborhood. 

Joshua Martin told 7 Action News he’s a better person because of his encounters with “Mama Shu.” 

“I’d be in the streets. Being around positive people like 'Mama' Shu, she brought me out of it.” said Martin.

Plans for Avalon Village include a homework house to help kids with their studies. There will also be courts for outdoor sports, a marketplace and cafe that serves up food grown locally.

A Kickstarter campaign is underway - $250,000 is needed to complete phase one.

You can learn more about Avalon Village at: