Columbia, SC (WLTX) – From 400 of your ideas, one suggestion on how to improve the Midlands is finally becoming a reality.
During large events on Main Street like Soda City Market and First Thursday, there will now be seats and chairs for you to sit and eat.
The idea collecting project called "What's Next Midlands" is made possible by EngenuitySC and a a $34,000 Connected Communities Grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation.
“The residents know best what they want to make this a more live, work, play, visit-friendly community and to make it a more connected community,” Meghan Hickman of EngenuitySC explained.
Hundreds of people went online and submitted ideas at community functions stating what improvement they wanted to see.
“We had over 400 ideas submitted in just four weeks which totally surpassed every expectation so those 400 ideas got wittled down,” Hickman said enthusiastically.
From those ideas investors chose two they would create.
People headed downtown this weekend will see the first ever “What’s Next Midlands” idea in action.
Eight tables and 16 chairs line Main Street on Saturday for Soda City Market all because of a suggestion to have feeding areas downtown.
The chairs and tables will be placed out for large events downtown and will eventually be put out daily.
“Folks want a more connected opportunity to sit and visit along Main Street," Hickman explained.
Twenty-one investors from the Midlands also providing funding of about $15,250 for the first project.
The next chosen idea will be announced in August.
"What’s Next Midlands" will continue to collect and choose from your ideas and roll out four new ones every year.
“It’s a way to engage the community in a broader and more connected way. It’s an opportunity for us to keep and engage young people so that they feel more connected to this place, and it’s a way for us to make this the community that we want it to be in a very real and tangible way,” Hickman said.
You can submit your ideas of how you think the Midlands can be improved. Head on over to: http://whatsnextmidlands.com/#/ideas