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Big Little Idea | City of BrightonThe City of Brighton trusts its citizens know best when it comes to making Brighton a better community to live in; this is the driving force behind their Big Little Idea contest. Inspiration for the contest comes from the book, ‘For the Love of Cities,’ and author Peter Kageyama’s visit to Brighton in 2014.

The Big Little Idea contest awards $500 each to six citizens, nonprofits or teams, to create and implement ideas to make Brighton a better place to live, work, play and learn. Brighton residents are encouraged to show their love for Brighton through their ideas. In past years, the contest generated a variety of impressive ideas and action from the community.

The first year of the Big Little Idea contest was 2015. The first year generated great interest and innovation from the community. Seeing community members submit their ideas and bring them to life for the community was truly inspiring.

The 2015 Big Little Idea winners included:

  • Brighton Boys & Girls Club, Greenhouse
  • Brighton Bloomin’ Buddies, Xeriscape signs
  • Albin Wagner, Bicycle Swap
  • Amanda Griffin, Jesse Staley and Bennett Staley, Geo-caching
  • Brighton Shares the Harvest, Raised garden beds

When the second year of the contest kicked off in 2016, the community did not disappoint! The second time around brought more entries, unique ideas and community members with big hearts.

The 2016 winners and their ideas included:

  • Kathy Sholders, Friends of Barr Lake field trips
  • Ed Hawkins, Main Street Creatives and Art Academy downtown mural
  • Pastor Ruth King, Chapel Hill Food Pantry automated sprinkler system
  • Jason Cvancara, Patriot Way Road (located on 4th Ave by Brighton City Hall)
  • Ruth Stephens, Little Book Library (located at Sister Cities Park)
  • Marina Orozco, Sharing Our Planet: Northeast Elementary 2nd Graders Gift Tree Program

“I truly appreciate what this opportunity gave to our students. Believe me when I say they were incredibly excited to have trees in their hands to plant. This class of 2nd graders was absolutely amazing and an incredible joy to work with. To be able to support their learning in such a tangible way was truly the best gift we could have given them. Thank you to the City of Brighton for this Big Little Idea grant. I hope that the city will continue to fund this program for the many ideas out there that it can ‘plant!’”

With heartfelt gratitude,
Marina Orozco, Teacher, Northeast Elementary

Winners were selected based on the criteria for originality, connection to the community and creativity. The six winners were chosen by a judging panel consisting of two city council members and appointed staff.

With 2017 bringing the third year of the Big Little Idea contest, the possibilities are endless with what the community will come up with!

If you’re based in Brighton, tell us your Big Little Idea by visiting, or pick up an entry form at the Brighton City Hall Front Desk by April 1.