Home > TN > Jackson > Where to Live Now > Building Community Is a Team Sport in Jackson, Tennessee

Building Community Is a Team Sport in Jackson, Tennessee

City programs bring residents together to create change, revitalize neighborhoods.

By Livability on November 15, 2022

Community is important in Jackson, TN.
Courtesy of the City of Jackson

Friends, family and community — the past few years have reminded us of what is truly important. 

In Jackson, Tennessee, “community” is a call to action. Two recent initiatives from Mayor Scott Conger’s office underscore the importance of connection and highlight the power of citizens to effect change. 

The City of Jackson is working on a connectivity plan for the entire city.
Courtesy of the City of Jackson
The City of Jackson is working on a connectivity plan for the entire city.

Making a Plan 

Stan Pilant, planning director for the City of Jackson, knows connection takes forethought. With community input, he’s leading the charge on creating a master plan for bicycles, pedestrians and greenways. 

“It’s looking at centers of activity across the city and trying to get people safely to them if they choose another mode of transportation other than a car,” he explains. “Not only is it important for physical activity and to get places, but it has also become a fundamental part of quality of life. 

“It’s not so much just connecting, but connecting well,” Pilant continues. “Having the ability to step off a hard surface and into a green space is an important enhancement and important to this idea of community.” 

When completed, the master plan will serve as a guide to future investments. 

“We want to make sure we fill in the gaps and reach a level of connectivity across the entire city,” Pilant says of the long-term strategy. 

Downtown Jackson, TN

Love Your Block 

“Love Your Block is a Cities of Service grant program that brings city leaders and residents together to revitalize neighborhoods one block at a time,” explains Abby Palmer, AmeriCorps VISTA representative and co-coordinator of Jackson’s Love Your Block (LYB) program. 

One of eight U.S. cities recently awarded $100,000 to impact underserved areas, this two-year initiative will focus on East Jackson in year one before spreading to other areas. 

The LYB program awards mini-grants of up to $1,500 for multiple small projects such as creating community gardens, installing public art or pitching in on repairs for a string of homes. 

“The whole premise behind Love Your Block is we want it to be resident-led and community-driven,” says Jameson Colbert, LYB fellow and Jackson co-coordinator. “At least 50 percent of volunteers should be connected to the project site. We expect to see community pride in a whole new way in areas that have really needed the boost.” 

Palmer says the goal is to create a channel of communication with city leaders and an understanding of available resources. 

“We hope residents will feel empowered to initiate a project on their own — that’s the sustained legacy.” 

Better Together 

Mayor Conger agrees. “The progress of our city is only as strong as its connection to the community that we serve. Our bicycle, pedestrian and greenways master plan, as well as the Cities of Service Love Your Block initiative, are ways that will allow the city to continue to reconnect locally.” 

Array ( [0] => 151567 [1] => 151517 [2] => 151487 [3] => 150280 [4] => 150265 [5] => 122911 [6] => 122894 [7] => 122881 [8] => 119747 )
Array ( )
Array ( )
Array ( [0] => 151567 [1] => 151517 [2] => 151487 [3] => 150280 [4] => 150265 [5] => 122911 [6] => 122894 [7] => 122881 [8] => 119747 )

More To Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Keep up to date with our latest rankings and articles!
Enter your email to be added to our mailing list.

/n/n/n /n