Two Macon residents are helping create change
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Two Macon residents have visions to help improve their communities. Grant money from Emerging Cities Champion is helping recipients live out their visions.
One of the winners, Steven DeGeorge, received a $5,000 grant from Emerging Cities Champion. His project “Field of Hope” has one vision: redeem the space for the Pleasant Hill community. DeGorge said he and a friend bought the land a few years ago. According to DeGeorge, the owner of the field died and left it to the city, but asked that the field be used as a park for white people only.
”Drive through the neighborhood today. It reveals a story that’s a little more desperate. It’s a community in need, but the idea is to bring it back,” DeGeorge said.
Robert Bonner has lived in his home on Culver and Third Streets in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood for 55 years. He said the field across from his home is nothing but overgrown vegetation and an eye sore.
”Never thought there would be improvement down there. I didn’t see that coming,” he said.
The project is bringing a park, bridge, and amphitheater to the field.
Bonner says it’s more than giving the Pleasant Hill community a park. He says it’s bringing the neighborhood back together.
“There’s kids around here and they need a place to play. This is perfect for them,” Bonner said.
Nancy Cleveland with the Community Foundation of Central’s Georgia also won a $5,000 grant from Emerging Cities Champion.
Her project, “Head Space: Destigmatizing Mental Health,” focuses on offering pop-up shops for free help, and other alternatives for those with mental health issues.