The Blog
Do something small to make a great impact.

First off, let’s talk a little about the word potential. What exactly does it mean to have potential? I’m an optimist, so I would say everything has potential. For example, a vacant lot has the potential to be turned into a beautiful pocket park, but what about an ugly chain-link fence? I mean, what in the world could you do to transform a bleak yet necessary fence into something more appealing? Even an optimist might question that.

Joe Jarzen, Community Engagement Coordinator at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) discovered something surprising yet beautiful when driving past the corner of Broadway and 3rd St. in downtown Cincinnati, OH. KIB affiliate, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, had the idea of turning an unattractive construction fence into a public work of art. With the help of volunteers, they successfully transformed the fence into an impressive spectacle of colors and pizazz. After reaching out to Keep Cincinnati Beautiful to gain more knowledge, Jarzen took the idea to his team and they responded with excitement. Thursday, June 27 will be the first workday for KIB, where they will be repurposing old billboard banners to create their own work of art in their tree yard. They are looking for 25 volunteers who are eager to participate in this artistic intervention. You can join the fun, by signing up here:!

The term “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” describes a development strategy that was coined by the nonprofit organization, Project for Public Spaces (PPS). The idea of doing something small to make a great impact is the framework of this concept. PPS believes that lower costs and resources, means capitalization on community engagement, energy and creativity — something KIB believes as well. This simple, yet beautiful idea of turning a chain-link fence into something aesthetically pleasing can initiate lasting change, and isn’t that the whole idea here? KIB is hoping to start a ripple effect with this project. By piloting it in their tree yard, neighbors will soon realize that this can be done in their own community places.

So, are you persuaded yet? Does an ugly chain-link fence have the potential of being something beautiful? We think so.