In June 2019, Groundswell partnered with the LaGrange Housing Authority (LHA) and Jackson Services to install a solar Smartflower™at The Phoenix apartments. The installation was funded by The Solutions Project, an organization focused on elevating feminine leadership and frontline leaders of color who work toward making 100 percent clean energy a reality in their communities.
The Smartflower™ is the first of its kind in the region, and in addition to helping reduce the monthly utility bill of LHA’s administrative office, the installation was lauded for the learning opportunities it made available to the community. Savings from the Smartflower™ were earmarked to fund future youth afterschool programming and education.
Groundswell also partnered with Jonnell Minefee, managing partner of Solar Tyme — a Georgia-based, woman-owned solar installer — who taught young people at LHA about solar energy production, and shared how as a woman of color, she has established a successful career in solar energy with the hope of inspiring them to do the same.
Young people from the surrounding community were also involved in the project. They used the information they learned to create sustainability-themed mural designs and inspirational statements that were painted on the walls of the adjacent buildings. As a result of their creative vision, the area around the Smartflower is now an inviting patio area for residents to enjoy.