By Sarah Kuper
The push for a greener downtown Homewood is picking up speed and support as members of the Homewood GreenSpace Initiative hold more meetings for officials, residents and merchants.
Leading up to an Aug. 28 presentation to the Homewood City Council, organizers have been spreading information and garnering support throughout all of Homewood’s five wards.
Advocates have been hosting meetings in their homes, inviting their respective council representatives to talk about the initiative.
The group’s chief objective at this time is to persuade city leaders to wait before selling the downtown public safety building and consider turning the lot into a greenspace.
Leaders estimate each home meeting has had about 30 attendees interested in pursuing the discussion.
Homewood GreenSpace Initiative organizer Roxanne Batson said council members seem to agree that more green areas in Homewood would benefit the city.
“They not only listened to residents but also asked questions of their own to learn more about what the residents would like for their downtown,” she said.
In addition to these in-home meetings attended by business and city leaders, organizers are using social media sites like Facebook and Nextdoor to make announcements and post information.
Recent posts include summaries of ward meetings and announcements of upcoming events. The page also posts links to news of other similarly situated cities that have developed pocket parks in their downtowns.
Organizers are using information and questions raised during these meetings and online to prepare their presentation to the council.
“We will share the vision as well as facts and figures on the economic impact that can happen when a greenspace is implemented,” Batson said.
Jeff Underwood, a former City Council president, and Rick Batson, architect and Homewood resident, will make the presentation. It will include a video by Brad White of Luckie & Co.
Leaders are glad people have been turning out to the ward meetings and voicing their support online, but they are especially eager for people to show up to the City Council meeting Aug. 28.
“We are asking for everyone with an interest in greenspace to please attend. It will only be 5-7 minutes total and can have a major impact on the success of the greenspace initiative. The City Council needs to know that there is big resident and merchant support for this, so we need everybody!” Batson said.
The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at Rosewood Hall.
For more information, find Homewood Green Initiative on Facebook. ❖