Curb Allure exists “because every street deserves to be beautiful” (Pssst. That’s even our tagline!) Yet as we work closely with cities, neighborhood organizations and other community-minded groups, we often see how challenging achieving this goal can be. Growing and maintaining trees, flowers and green spaces requires a lot of work and money, especially for local grassroots organizations who depend upon volunteers and donations.
Luckily, resources are available to those who dare to ask. Here is a list of mini-grants available in New York City to help launch your favorite neighborhood project.
Neighborhoods Grants: Citizens Committee for New York City:
Amount: Up to $3000
Citizens Committee for NYC is a non-profit organization dedicated to “helping New Yorkers —especially those in low-income areas— come together and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.” As one of its many grant programs, Neighborhood Grants awards resident-led groups up to $3000 for projects that focus on improving community or schools throughout NYC. Recent recipients have transformed empty lots into community gardens, organized tenants to advocate for better housing conditions, and started school recycling drives.
Due Date: January 27, 2015
Grant guidelines, click here.
Additional information, visit: http://citizensnyc.org/grants/neighborhood-grants
Love Your Block Grant: Citizens Committee for New York City
Amount: Up To $1000
Citizens Committee for NYC has also partnered with New York City services to forge Love Your Block which provides grants to improve and beautify City neighborhoods. Through this program, not only can resident-led volunteer groups receive up to $1000 in funding, but they also get a little extra help from the Departments of Transportation, Parks and Recreation, and Sanitation. For example, Love Your Block grants have provided assistance for tree removal, tree planting, garbage pickup and providing wood chip mulch for gardening projects.
Due Date: Late 2014/Early 2015. Exact dates to be announced.
For grant guidelines, click here.
For additional information, visit: http://citizensnyc.org/grants/love-your-block
FREE Mulch and Compost: New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY)
Amount: Up to 30 bags each. (Mulch bags weigh approximately 30 pounds, compost weighs roughly 40 pounds.)
New York City Department of Sanitation will provide small amounts of free compost and mulch to improve the soil in NYC street tree beds. In exchange, recipients must display official NYC Compost and Mulch signs (provided at pickup). Those requesting mulch or compost must be able to pick up bags and physically load them from one of the DSNY compost and mulch distribution locations. Trees on private property do not qualify.
Due Date: Ongoing basis
For request form, visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/compost/req_compost-mulch-trees.shtml
Grow to Learn NYC Mini-Grants
Amount: From $500 to $2000
New York City public or charter schools who are registered with Grow to Learn, the city-wide school garden initiative, may receive funding to create or expand their school garden. Grow to Learn recognizes gardens in all shapes and sizes, including ones within classrooms, on rooftops or via partnerships with community gardens.
Due Date: March 5, 2014
Additional information, visit: http://growtolearn.org/view/mini_grant
Urban Forestry Grants: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Amount: Up to $50,000, depending upon the population of the municipality. Cost-share grants.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) annually announces the availability of community state assistance grants for tree planting and urban forestry projects. These grants are reimbursement cost-share grants that must be equally matched by local resources.
Please note, these grants are not available for privately-held property, but are for municipalities, public benefit corporations, public authorities, school districts and not-for-profit organizations that have a public ownership interest in the property or are acting on behalf of a public property owner. Due Date: Contact DEC to be notified of fund availability
Additional information, visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5285.html
The beauty behind these grants is that they are geared toward the small guy, namely community-minded people and organizations who want to improve their neighborhood. If you are aware of any such program (or offer one yourself), please let us know. We are always on the lookout for ways to help our fellow “street beautifiers.”