South Macon non profit to convert blight into Georgia’s first ‘Agrihood’


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Gateway Heights community is making some room to grow–a garden that is. Local non-profit One South Community Development Corporation is in the running for a $500,000 grant to convert blighted space in South Macon neighborhoods into their very own ‘agrihood’.

“This neighborhood has been forgotten about,” said one Macon resident.

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In a community that hasn’t seen change in years, that resident says growth is oh so necessary.

“We had one neighborhood store down here it was down there on third street, J and L grocery store. They closed down, and it killed the neighborhood,” he continued.

That’s why One South Community Development Corporation’s Danny Glover says they want to get down to the root of the problem and bring the Gateway Heights neighborhood back to life.

“So, what we’re looking at is a neighborhood of older people who have to look out at blighted properties and don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” he said.

Residents say a community garden is exactly the kind of growth agent this South Macon neighborhood needs and they’ve already gotten started on it.

“We want our neighbors to come together to realize what we were in the past and to realize where we want to go in the future, if we really truly want to grow ourselves a new neighborhood,” said Glover

But that South Macon resident says growing a new neighborhood means involving those new to the neighborhood.

“That’s what I’m mainly hoping for get some of these kids out here to come down here and grow something and learn how stuff is grow,” he said.

Though many in the neighborhood that was once known for its gardens have died or moved on, Glover says one thing’s for sure–there’s potential in the soil.

“We’re going to show people like this is how it happens this is how we get those collard greens on our tables on Sunday this is how we get those rutabagas on Wednesdays so we wanna show people that this is the process from beginning to end.”

Out of the 1000 entries to the competition, One South CDC was one of 71 projects across the nation that were chosen. The top 25 winners will be announced in November.

Glover says they’ve funded the ‘agrihood’ project through donations and they’re always looking to get more. If you’re interested in donating you can do so here.