FutureHeights awards fall mini-grants
FutureHeights awarded $3,585 in grants to support five projects in Cleveland Heights in the fall round of its 2019 Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program:
Bradford Road Neighbors received $1,000 for the Bradford Road Pollinator Path (BPP) project, an expansion of a current project to rehabilitate a WPA-era pathway constructed as a safe walkway for children en route to Canterbury Elementary School. The goal is to bring sustainable plant life to the pathway to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the path as well as support indigenous growth, replacing invasive plants. Phase 1 of the project will focus on the area between South Taylor and Queenston roads. In their application, organizers stated, “The BPP is a creative local solution to educate and activate first our street and then another street to increase biodiversity in our community,” and expressed a desire to “bring together neighbors through the pleasure of gardening.”
Beth El - the Heights Synagogue was granted $809 to enhance its play yard for children. Organizers of this project noticed children using bike racks and stair rails as climbing toys, which inspired the idea for a more stable and functional play place for children attending shul, as well as those in the neighborhood. “Families will see the synagogue as not just an old building but part of a kid-friendly neighborhood,” organizers said in their application.
Boulevard PTA, which was granted $1,000 for its Boulevard Learning Garden Enhancement Project, will utilize the funds to purchase seeds, seeding tables, irrigation systems, and materials to build trellises in Boulevard Elementary School’s new raised-bed planters. Organizers stated, “Not only is the garden itself a resource that many parents aspire to have in their schools, but the development of this garden will also send a clear message to prospective parents that current Boulevard families and community members are actively engaged and developing creative programming to enhance the school.”
Coventry Collaborations was granted $276 for its Asset Based Community Development Mapping project, a survey project that aims to “help the community come together stronger to collaborate with organizations like local businesses and nonprofits to achieve mutually beneficial goals.” Sharing skills and abilities, survey respondents will be added to a database that can be used by those in the neighborhood to approach projects efficiently. “If you want to build a treehouse at Spirit Corner, for example, you could check the survey results and see everyone in the area who said they are proficient at carpentry and then reach out to those people,” organizers explained.
North Coventry and Eddington Friends was granted $500 to support efforts to build neighborhood leadership for their “Eddington Pocket Park!” project. “Unfortunately, many residents in this neighborhood don’t see themselves as connected, capable of change, or being leaders,” organizers said in their application. “This project will keep them at the tip of the spear the entire duration as participatory development practices reveal their ability to connect, their capability of envisioning good things and making them happen, and serving their neighborhood for the common good.”
(A celebration for these mini-grant recipients will be held in December; details to come.)
The next application deadline is March 15, 2020, at 5 p.m. To learn more, visit www.futureheights.org/programs/community-building-programs, e-mail email@example.com, or call 216-320-1423.
Sarah Wolf is an intern at FutureHeights, a resident of Cleveland Heights, and a graduate-level community practice student at MSASS/Case Western Reserve University.