The goal of The Porch Project is to is use porch repairs and beautification efforts to promote “neighborliness” in which homeowners will engage other residents through increased use of their front yards.
The Porch Project started as a community driven project to increase neighborliness by increasing the use of front porches in the city. Megan Heyza lives on the east side of Flint and took on a home repair project. She landscaped her front yard and painted her porch. It was through this that her neighbors started to engage with her. The project was started because she had the desire to give her neighbors the same avenues for increased “neighborliness.”
In 2018, The project reached 43 households on the east side of Flint, MI. Flowers were planted by us at 20 homes, with an additional 7 being completed by residents who did not receive flowers through the project. We were able to provide solar lights to 27 homes and increasing lighting on the streets that had plantings. Porch repairs were done at 12 homes from serviceable repairs to capping a porch. But the best results came from the very premise of neighborliness. Community was built stronger, neighbors became friends, and strangers interacted in their zone of comfortability.
Our hopes for next year are to plant at 100 homes and repair 30 porches. We hope to build community throughout the city and make some friends along the way!
A community with deep roots thrives.
The Porch Project has had over 100 volunteers log more than 1,500 hours while providing porch improvements at over 40 homes in Flint, Michigan.
Funding for The Porch Project has been provided by Chemical Bank and the University of Michigan-Flint via a research partnership in pollinator conservation with Dr Rebecca Tonietto. Additional support was provided by the Neighborhood Engagement Hub and the University of Michigan-Flint.