A local community is trying to get some much needed help with revitalization. The Sand Hills neighborhood, located off Walton Way behind the Augusta Country Club, is in a historic area of Augusta. A lot of older residents are now gone, leaving new problems of blight. But, one neighbor is speaking out in an effort to bring in help. WJBF News Channel 6's Dee Griffin has the story.
Javon Armstrong is watering the seeds of growth in his Sand Hills neighborhood. “We started with tomatoes and squash. I don't know a lot about gardening,” says Armstrong, who heads up the Sand Hills Neighborhood Association.
But, he knows his neighborhood has soil that ripe for long overdue growth.
“Our whole issue is that we're not being able to benefit financially from things that happen, whether it's the Masters or the tournaments that go on, or events that go on,” Armstrong says.
The area is in the shadow of the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club, but the golf and glory don't reach into this area.
The faithful, long-time neighbors have mostly died…and the neighborhood has been replaced with blight and boarded-up houses. A building that once educated some of the brightest minds in the area…now sits dark.
Armstrong says these old structures can yield new hope for this once thriving community. “If we can bring in industry, commercial development, we've got youth that need programming. There's so many things that this community needs but on different levels,” he says.
As the neighborhood went down, the amount of traffic from passersby has gone up. Each day, people move through the area as a shortcut, but they fail to take a long look at the surroundings.
Armstrong says it's time for Augusta to stop passing through and stop to make an invest in this community by planting seeds of growth. “There's so much potential here, but you can't just drive through. My point is…stop driving through, stop flying over. Stop here,” he says.
The neighborhood association has hosted meetings with local officials to gain some attention to the problems. Also, Armstrong is trying to reach out to local businesses to get computers for the community center. He says those computers would be used to help tutor area children.