Community Progress Blog

Problem to Purpose: Teens Create Deterioration Answers in Colorado Springs

Written by on March 3, 2020

A Camera and $500 Turn into a Deteriorated Property Solution

“Eventually the youth started asking, ‘Why can’t we just make the changes?’” explained Mia Ramirez of The Colorado Trust.

That one powerful question spurred a student group from the Leaders Engaged and Amazingly Determined (LEAD) in Colorado Springs, Colorado to improve a deteriorated property in their neighborhood through creative placemaking. LEAD’s Hillside neighborhood youth “photovoice” project the youth identified a few places they wanted to make better, including one basketball court renovation that was completed for just $500.

Additional “wins” that came from the photovoice project included advocating for both the rehabilitation of the formerly vacant, and community eyesore, Helen Hunt Elementary School – which now has reopened with a brand new playground and educational programs such as Head Start and English as a Second Language – and the Leon Young Pavilion space, a pavilion built in memory of Colorado Springs’ first and only Black mayor.

Photo Credit: Joe Mahoney

 

Need Ideas for a Community Creative Placemaking Project?

Download the “Trends in Creative Placemaking on Problem Properties: 2019 National Survey Findings” for data and real case studies of communities, like Oakland, where residents are solving community challenges while fighting vacancy.

For more inspiration and innovation’s in creative placemaking, follow Community Progress on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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