This article is cross-posted with permission from The Telegraph.
This week a finale celebration was held atop Coleman Hill to recognize the impact of the Knight Neighborhood Challenge. Since 2009, this community-driven grant program invested $3 million in the College Hill Corridor by funding ideas that would make the area thrive.
What made the program so successful is how the people of Macon embraced it. We dreamed big. We embraced creativity. We applied innovation. We rolled up our sleeves and invested the time to not just talk the talk of, “You know what would be great?” but to walk the walk of, “Let’s do this.”
Our resulting projects ranged from the simple with a complex purpose to the downright funky, quirky and completely, uniquely Macon.
There were simple tasks such as requesting a few hundred dollars to distribute light bulbs with sensor cells so neighborhood homes would automatically have a friendly front-porch light turn on as day turned to dusk. Not only did this enhance the sense of safety, but it encouraged neighbors to be neighborly. If you received a light bulb, you also received an extra to pass along to someone else on your block who could use it.