Three years ago we asked what could we do to support the ideas, large and small, of people, organizations and even businesses to improve the College Hill Corridor? How do we make funds available to get things started in what was a lackluster neighborhood? And how do we do it in a way that will get people engaged and nurture new “everyday leaders”? From this, the Knight Neighborhood Challenge was created.
Funded in 2009 with a $3 million, five-year Knight grant to the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, the Knight Neighborhood Challenge announced today its latest round of support for 12 projects from $450 to $85,000.
The projects include: the idea of two teenagers to create a Corridor Teen Forum ($450), the all-volunteer Friends of Tattnall Square Park’s idea to create a gathering garden and serpentine wall ($14,528), the very cool Macon Music Ambassadors project ($51,116) proposed by a new resident to College Hill, and the not too sexy but really important code enforcement technology for the City of Macon ($85,000). Rebuilding Macon will continue its work in repairing owner-occupied housing of our seniors in Beall’s Hill ($25,000) and the Beall’s Hill Community Garden ($34,700) will construct a pavilion and rain collection system.
To date, $1.3 million for 88 grants has been awarded by the community foundation. The ideas are always intriguing and sometimes surprising. We’ve found that even those folks whose ideas are not funded often find a way to make them reality!
The awards are great. The projects are varied and fun. But probably the best thing about the challenge is that it is a vehicle for everyone to participate in the revitalization and rebirth of the College Hill Corridor. We’ve found that seed money investment like the Knight Neighborhood Challenge is that extra incentive to take people from “what if?” to “I can!” and is the catalyst that nurtures leaders at every level. I’m grateful to each and every one of the applicants and for their faith in our shared future and the future of College Hill.
Let’s keep it going!
By Beverly Blake, program director/Macon at Knight Foundation
Related: "Knight Neighborhood Challenge grants announced" from Macon.com.