The grassroots group Soulardarity will be installing its first residential community-owned solar-powered streetlight in Highland Park on Sunday, August 17. The organization formed in response to the city’s decision to remove two-thirds of its 1,500 streetlights in 2011 as part of a deal to lower utility costs. It’s previously installed a solar light in the Detroit enclave on Victor Street near the site of the first U.S. auto factory. Next year Soulardarity plans to launch a community cooperative that will help put in place 20 more lights by the end of summer 2015.
Sunday’s streetlight installation will take place at Jacobi RA Park at 24 Avalon Street from noon to 2:30 p.m. with a dedication ceremony afterwards. Food, local entertainment, face painting and arts and crafts for kids will be part of the festivities. It will be followed later that afternoon by a free “Reggae in the Park” celebration hosted by Soulidarity co-director Shamayim Harris.
“I’m excited about the growing self-reliance,” says Harris, “We’re showing that together, we can solve issues in our community. This streetlight will illuminate more than half a block surrounded mostly by vacant lots, helping us feel safe and secure.”
For more info, visit Soulardarity’s facebook event page.
Jacobi Ra Park. Photo by Soulardarity.