County provides up to $10,000 each for a variety of projects to improve communities
Representatives of area neighborhood associations looking to make changes to their communities should consider attending a neighborhood grant workshop in December or January, Sarasota County has announced.
Those workshops will present the details of the Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program, which provides up to $10,000 per neighborhood, a news release explains.
The program, which has helped Sarasota County communities since 2002, requires neighborhoods to match at least 50% of project expenses, the release points out. While some neighborhoods match funds through cash and donations, others opt to garner credit through volunteer labor valued at $15 per hour, the release says.
The first six months of the process includes attendance at a workshop, research by the neighborhood, consultation with county staff, submission of an application, review and scoring by an advisory committee and final approval by the Board of County Commissioners, the release explains. From that point, neighborhoods have one year to complete the project and submit a final report to the county.
“The feedback we get from those neighborhoods that put the time and effort in to improving their communities through the grant program is overwhelmingly positive,” said Miranda Lansdale, grant program coordinator, in the release.
Projects can be proposed within one of five themes, the release adds:
- Character: place-making through the creation or enhancement of assets that are a source of pride and neighborhood identity.
- Leadership: training neighborhood leaders or teams, and developing skills, for neighborhood governance or action.
- Safety: equipping the neighborhood with knowledge or tools to prevent, prepare for, confront or respond to incidences of crime, danger or disaster.
- Environment: protecting water and energy resources and native habitats.
- Health: increasing access to nutritious diets, and physical or mental fitness.
Images of recently completed projects may be viewed in the Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program photo album on the Neighborhood Services Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/neighborSRQ.
The next round of Neighborhood Initiative Grant workshops will be offered in December and January, with applications anticipated for presentation to County Commission in June 2017, the release says. Registration for workshops is required; dates are available on the Neighborhood Services website by visiting www.scgov.net, and using ‘Neighborhood Grants’ as the keyword.
Anyone who has a project idea or who simply wants to learn more about the program may register for a workshop by calling 861-5000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 861-5000.