Help us get $37,500 and say WE LIT AVALON!

Help us get $37,500 and say WE LIT AVALON!

In 2011 DTE Energy repossessed over 1,000 of Highland Park’s streetlights, leaving our kids and residents to live in the dark for almost a decade. We Lit Avalon! is a citizen-led campaign to bring solar-powered streetlights and connectivity to Avalon Village in Highland Park - a sustainable eco-village led by powerhouse resident, Mama Shu - to transform one of the city’s most blighted blocks into a safe, welcoming, and beautiful space for the entire community. 

With your support, we will:

  • purchase, install and maintain 5 solar-powered smart streetlights 
  • establish a free, public wifi mesh network to children, residents, and visitors
  • provide year-round safety, streetlighting, and internet for Avalon Village community centers and services
  • create a safe, walkable, and welcoming environment to host community gatherings and celebrations 
  • elevate Avalon Village as a landmark example of energy democracy and independence, and place-based equitable development for cities across the country 
  • provide Highland Park residents four essential connections: light, internet, dignity, and community

Photo courtesy of Model D Media

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $37,500 by November 10, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

Avalon Village is addressing systemic problems in Highland Park, from food and economic insecurity to public service gaps (e.g., no operating public library, reduced utilities, etc.). Developments underway include: (1) The Homework House for tutoring, meals, hygiene care, and social and emotional support for kids (2) The Goddess Marketplace where local creatives can sell their art and goods (3) The Healing House for community health and healing arts, and (4) The Blue Moon Cafe and Greenhouse to grow and provide healthy food. 

But the embedded magic of Avalon Village is its place inside the neighborhood - walkable and accessible to those its built for. In essence, Avalon Village breathes the same oxygen as the community it serves. But to serve, the village must be safe. And to be safe, it must be lit. All year round, for years to come. Your support brings us this light - thank you! 

This campaign is a partnership between Avalon Village, Soulardarity, and Solartonic, supported by matching funds from Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and is phase 1 of an audacious campaign to create renewable energy independence for Highland Park. We Lit Avalon! will be a demonstration of how solar photovoltaic energy and wifi-enabled street lights can be scaled across Highland Park and be a model for other cities to reimagine the future of clean lighting infrastructure. Both Soulardarity and Avalon Village are Highland Park nonprofits focused on equitable development and community empowerment and are co-leads on this project. The solar streetlights are engineered and designed by Solartonic, a Ypsilanti-based solar energy manufacturer committed to supporting smart communities across the country. As a community-conscious partner, Solartonic will be manufacturing the streetlights, setting up the wifi enabled network, and providing continuous remote and onsite maintenance support.



Thank you for your support as an ally and community action investor! Your support brings light, connection, and ever-renewed hope to Avalon Village and the city of Highland Park. And once it’s safe, please come see us to check out the lights and the community YOU invested in! Together, we can celebrate and say - We Lit Avalon!

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