Sherwood Forest crowdfunds new street lights

Detroit neighborhood seeks help with community effort

DETROIT – This is really a story about neighborhood pride and commitment.

Like so many neighborhoods, the lights in Sherwood Forest work intermittently--on for a week, off for two, your light is out and your neighbor's is on. No question, the neighborhood needed something new.

Sherwood Forest is designated as an historic district, with some homes dating back to 1918. Homeowners are not allowed change exteriors to deviate from the historic look, so the modern lights from the public lighting authority would look out-of-place.

SOT-   "We want something that reflects the charm and character of our homes, said Maurice Telesford, Sherwood Forest Association President. "Most are from the 1920s, so we want a pole that looks like its from that time period."

But the historic lights are a $65,000 upgrade and the association didn't have the money. So they are using the crowdsourcing site GoFundMe to raise the money. The deadline is a week from this Sunday and they've already raised more than two-thirds of their goal.

"We've had donors in their 90s," said Gail Rodwan of the Sherwood Forest Association. "We've had people participate who moved in just a week ago, and people who have purchased but haven't moved in yet."

Some may complain its like paying twice for a service your tax dollars already fund, but other see it as an enlightened investment.  And other neighborhoods are now considering similar campaigns of their own.

Former Detrroiters from far away have donated to the campaign, and for a $650 donation your name will be displayed on the light.

To learn more about the campaign, or if you want to donate, check out the Sherwood Forest GoFundMe page.