The Heidelberg Project is pleased to announce the completion of the comprehensive solar-powered security and surveillance system prompted by the string of arson fires targeting the Project. A massive undertaking, the plan was a concerted effort from multiple Michigan-based companies, coordinated by the Heidelberg Project's Assistant Director, Alvita Lozano.
After a winter spent vetting and coordinating partners and equipment, the thaw in March of this year saw the successful installation of Phase I of the plan. Comprised of a centralized DVR mainframe with remote monitoring capability and ten strategically placed cameras, Phase I lost time due to inclimate weather, but gained capacity with the addition of coordinated access for ATF authorities. Phase II included non-invasive solar panel streetlights and additional cameras, all of which is monitored from our office at 42 Watson.
The solar lighting and security plan would not have been possible without the generosity of the nearly 950 Indiegogo donors that raised over $54,000 for the plans in just one month along with the Fred M. & Barbara A. Erb Family Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. Others graciously offered their expertise such as Jim Clements of Harrison Township - based Nomax Technologies, LLC who contributed over $13,400 of in-kind services to ensure a solid plan.
“From the first time my parents brought me to Heidelberg as a child, and in spite of my lacking of colorful creativity, I’ve always wanted to contribute something. This was my chance.” Clements is an integral part of the team, not only in the planning and installation of much of the system, but also in ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Clements and Lozano coordinated with Solar Street Light USA of Holland, Michigan, as well as Livonia-based Digital Planet/Detroit Networks, who also donated high quality equipment and services.
"It was critical for us to work efficiently toward a solution that aligned with our mission, met the needs of residents and the site, and one that was cost-sustainable over time," said Jenenne Whitfield, Executive Director of the Heidelberg Project. "The upside to all of this is the opportunity to introduce our community to green energy in the form of solar lights, while also providing a greater degree of safety."
Although the plan presented a unique and unfamiliar challenge, the resulting improvements to the two-block area are well worth the efforts. Residents living in