It’s time to show your block some love
There is a project that can help you show off the love you have for your community for the city to see. It is called, Love Your Block mini-grant, and it is a two-year grant program. Residents and property owners in the Lincoln Park and Central Hillside are invited to apply for the mini-grants. Duluth is one of eight communications to receive a grant that will help fund staff capacity and provides mini grants to residents to improve their neighborhoods together.
Residents can apply for up to $1,500 to fund a neighborhood improvement project. The funds can be used for a range of activities, as long as they are volunteer-led and brings the neighborhoods together to reduce blight. Some of those activities can look like neighborhood clean-ups, installing public artwork, or repurposing vacant lots as active community spaces for all. When referring to “blight,” it is something that has not been cared for and is no longer benefiting the community.
"We have so many beautiful spaces, and we also have a lot of places that have fallen into disrepair for a variety of reasons, and this is an opportunity for us to come together and invest in community-led projects, so really looking to have residents take the lead on identifying the needs and coming together and working with residents to leverage other support to make a difference," says Love Your Block Fellow with the City of Duluth Sarah Erickson.
This grant is different from other ones; Erickson shares the uniquenesses of these grants. “It really focuses on what are you doing for your block! For your indemnity community and to not get overwhelmed by the enormity of everything. Try to focus on connecting with your neighbors and doing good in your community. Coming together to make a difference in that immediate space."
Central Hillside resident, Gene McKeever, shares why people should apply for these grants. "I think people get excited! We have a good group of people that live in the Hillside. And if we just get the word out there, everyone gets excited about doing it; they really do! I will have no problem whatsoever getting people involved in this project. They will come!”
Lincoln Park resident Patrick Webb outlines an idea he has in mind. “I’m going to be pitching the idea of creating a mural that we can go and hang up in the Harris Community Center that tells that story; so that everyone that comes into that center can see what it means in the community and what we can do when we band together."
There will be two informational sessions/open houses for the public to attend. On May 16th from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm at Community Action Duluth, conference room at 2424 W 5th St. #102. The last meeting will be on May 17th from 4:30 pm-5:30 pm at the Damiano Center, in the conference located at 206 W 4th Street in Duluth.
Applications for the first round of grant funding are due on June 3, 2022. Second-round grant funding applications are due by July 1st. The third round of grant applications are due by August 1st. The applications are available at duluthmn.gov/love-your-block/. Residents will review and award the grants to the resident winners. There is no age limit when it comes to applying for a mini-grant. More information can be found at duluth.gov/love-your-block or by contacting Love Your Block Fellow, Sarah Erickson, at email@example.com, or at (218) 348-2165.