A before-and-after look at a neighborhood improvement project through the grant progra
SARASOTA COUNTY – Take the opportunity to learn about Sarasota County’s Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program and how to improve your community during free workshops offered May 31 through June 19.
Twice each year, area neighborhoods may submit proposals to Sarasota County to fund the changes they wish to see in their community through the Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program, a competitive program that has provided matching funds, currently up to $10,000 per neighborhood, since 2002.
The program requires neighborhoods to contribute at least 50 percent of project expenses. While some neighborhoods match funds through cash and donations, others opt for garnering credit of $15 per hour through volunteer labor.
Projects can be proposed within one of five themes:
Character: 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, energy resources and native habitats.
Health: increasing access to nutritious diets and physical or mental fitness.
The next round of Neighborhood Initiative Grant workshops will be offered May 31 through June 19, with applications anticipated for presentation to the Board of County Commissioners in November. Registration for workshops is required.
In addition, Sarasota County Neighborhood Services will host a grant SHARE-shop from 4-5 p.m., May 30 at the Gulf Gate Library. The SHARE-shop provides a firsthand perspective of the grant program from a panel composed of a grant recipient, a grant advisory committee member, a staff reviewer and the grant coordinator.This month’s SHARE-shop will feature a project from Pine Run Association, which focused on the removal of invasive plant species from natural habitat.
Workshop dates and registration, along with additional information, are available by calling the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000, or by visiting www.scgov.net.