8 project ideas win mini-grants to improve Richmond and North Richmond

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Eight relatively small but significant projects are set to improve Richmond and North Richmond starting in January, as they were just awarded Love Your Block mini-grants.

On Tuesday, program officials announced this year’s winners of mini-grants of up to $2,000 on various neighborhood improvement projects. Their projects will launch as early as January.

Winning projects include beautification of the Shields-Reid Community Center backyard; restroom improvement at the Lucky A’s Ballfield in North Richmond; an edible garden and other beautification in Parchester Village; a garden and mural in North Richmond; the 18th St. Peace Garden; further improvement of the Sante Fe Union Park; and funds for continued construction of Dirt World, a 2.1-acre section of the Richmond Greenway serving BMX and mountain bike riders.

Further details about each project will be released in the near future, program officials said.

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The Love Your Block mini-grant program prioritized projects that would serve their target neighborhoods of North Richmond and Parchester Village. Grant winners will now take it upon themselves to carry out their projects, although they can tap city staff for guidance and resources.

This is the second year of the three-year grant program launched by Cities of Service, a nonprofit founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Richmond is one of seven U.S. cities to win the three-year commitment to fund local improvement projects “one block at a time.”

Love Your Block’s mission is not just to beautify the community, but also to spark community engagement and to create sustainable improvements.

Last year, the program gave 11 grants of $1,000 to community members who launched projects ranging from community gardens to neighborhood clean-ups.

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