By Kathy Chouteau
The Love Your Block Mini-Grant Program is back. Applications are being accepted now through Feb. 25 for proposals that improve environmental quality by engaging community volunteers to clean-up and beautify Richmond, according to the City of Richmond Community Services Department.
A total of $80,000 is available for the fiscal year (FY) 2021-2023 mini-grant cycle and applicants can apply for mini-grants of up to $10,000. The program is made possible via a partnership between the Community Services Department and the City Manager’s Office, Economic Development.
To be eligible, applicants should be organizations with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor or nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax status. Applicants should also have an active status in the California Secretary of State Business Search and should not have received a Love Your Block Mini-Grant award during the fiscal year 2020-2022 cycle, said department officials.
Projects are required to take place within the City of Richmond’s boundaries in areas accessible to the public; unincorporated areas and spaces encroaching public agencies’ property aren’t eligible for mini-grants. (Some exceptions may apply if the applicant has a pre-existing agreement with an agency).
Projects—which must commence on or after July 1, 2022 and be completed by April 30, 2023—should “promote beautification, sustainability, health and safety, community engagement and/or the creation or improvement of public space,” per department officials.
Department officials also underscored that the projects should include a minimum of 10 community volunteers “to clean-up and beautify Richmond” and should encompass a community event “during which physical clean-up and beautification occurs.” While ongoing projects are eligible for the mini-grants, funds should not be utilized to reimburse expenses incurred before July 1, 2022 (FY2021-2023).
Past mini-grant projects have included community clean-ups/garden creations, painting, public art projects and the installation of new Little Free Libraries—to name a few.