Mission

We help cities maximize the benefits of green infrastructure for their communities.

Officers

April Mendez, President

Co-Founder and VP of Programs

Fresh Coast Capital

Laura Kimes, Secretary

Co-Founder and VP of Talent + Impact

Fresh Coast Capital

Nicole Chavas, Treasurer

Co-Founder and CEO

Fresh Coast Capital

Directors

Mollie Dowling

Executive Director

OAI, Inc.

Dan Kinkead

Principal, Architect + Urban Designer

SmithGroupJJR

Jacqueline Patterson

Sr. Director of Environmental + Climate Justice

NAACP

Our Story

Fresh Coast Communities was founded in 2016 out of the work of its affiliated partner, Fresh Coast Capital. Because the history of Fresh Coast Communities is strongly intertwined with the history of its affiliate, Fresh Coast Capital, we share the history of both organizations here.

Fresh Coast Capital

Fresh Coast Capital was launched in early 2014 to help communities revitalize by redeveloping vacant and underutilized urban land into productive green spaces using project models designed to attract private capital and increase the availability of financial resources for revitalization. It is a B-Corp certified, mission-driven, women-owned, for-profit project developer that guides communities to achieve and implement their vision of comprehensive “green infrastructure”. These strategies are ultimately intended to combat community disinvestment and drive ecological health, shared prosperity, and strengthened community.


To date, Fresh Coast Capital has: 

  • Established 60 acres of pilot urban timber and flower farms for passive stormwater management and vacant land reuse in 7 cities across the U.S., including 10 acres and 3,000 trees in Youngstown since 2015.
  • Launched a $2M federally funded project in Peoria, IL to install a community-driven design for green infrastructure with integrated urban agriculture and to run a microenterprise training program for youth and adult residents.
  • Launched a green infrastructure program in St. Louis, MO for mission-driven organizations in low income communities.

Fresh Coast Communities

While developing these projects, Fresh Coast Capital recognized that it could achieve greater impact if it were also able to invest in public education, community engagement, workforce development, health and other areas of programming that cities may not be able to pay for. These charitable activities would need to be managed through a nonprofit that would be independent from, but have access to, the resources of Fresh Coast Capital. This led to the formation of Fresh Coast Communities.  


The two organizations are legally independent entities with independent boards and intend to coordinate their operations, as permissible, by creating a coherent enterprise that strengthens ability to fulfill their complementary missions. An Affiliation MOU and a legally executed “Resource Sharing Agreement” govern the relationship between the two entities.