How One Neighborhood Association Raised Money To Acquire Park Grant

The Lakeview Civic Improvement Association applied for a grant to fuel park maintenance and improvement projects while promising to match the grant

What Happened?
The Lakeview Civic Improvement Association in Louisiana applied for a grant to fuel park maintenance and improvement projects while promising to raise enough funds to match the grant.

Goal
The Lakeview Civic Improvement Association is a neighborhood civic group that partnered with the Friends of Lakeview nonprofit to apply for a grant that would help the community revitalize a nearby park. To obtain the grant, the organizations had to raise enough money to match the federal funding opportunity, The Times-Picayune reported.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation administers the grants to awardees, while the program is funded through the federal Transportation Alternatives Program. This grant program is designed to fuel transportation projects that cater to cyclists and pedestrians in an effort to improve walkability while reducing traffic congestion.

To qualify for the state allocated funding, communities must be able to demonstrate a 20 percent match in funds – making it difficult for nonprofit organizations to apply. The Lakeview Civic Improvement Association applied for the grant on behalf of Friends of Lakeview, and volunteered to generate the necessary $173,500 in matching funds to qualify for the $694,000 Transportation Alternatives grant, The Times-Picayune reported.

The Friends of Lakeview was able to fundraise enough to cover the cost of the grant application and engineering plans. The Lakeview Civic Improvement Association will cover the remaining costs.

Brooklyn
A nonprofit organization in Brooklyn, New York, is planning to start a private philanthropic conservancy to manage improvement projects for one of the neighborhood’s oldest parks. The 500 Men Making a Difference service organization seeks to improve a nearby park that hosts afterschool services in its cultural center, which recently underwent funding cuts, DNAinfo New York reported.

In response to local residents’ demanding improved facilities and restored afterschool programs, the nonprofit service organization wants to create a conservancy to add:

  • Maintenance workers
  • Youth activities: cross-training, dancing and cooking
  • Renovations
  • A new website
  • Conservatory garden to host special events

The 500 Men Making a Difference is collaborating with the Central Park Conservancy and New York’s Partnership for Parks to create the conservancy and apply for grants from both public and private funders. The nonprofit has drafted a two-year, $2 million budget proposal to support the park that will be submitted to local public officials, DNAinfo New York reported.

Kent County
Partnerships for Ecological Restoration Inc., a nonprofit in Kent County, Maryland, recently received a $34,800 grant from the Watershed Assistance Two-Year Milestone Support Grant program administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources and the Environment.

The grant funding will be used to design a 0.75-acre stormwater wetland system in Kent County, which will be used to treat stormwater runoff from 65 acres of turf, roads, parking lots and green spaces. The overall goal of the wetland project is to help improve the community’s water quality while restoring the natural habitat of the park. Furthermore, the nonprofit plans to beautify the park and add outdoor learning experiences for students at the nearby high school, My Eastern Shore Maryland reported.

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