Do you have a great idea for a project in your neighborhood?

Do you want to make your neighborhood more vibrant? Do you want to reduce blight?

Then the Southwest Partnership Neighborhood Grant Program is for you!

Grant Applications are now open! Our theme for this year is bringing communities back together. We're especially looking for projects that connect community members to each other and to public space in our neighborhoods.

Letters of intent for projects between $5,000 and $20,000 are due April 12 2022

Final applications for all projects are due June 1 2022

Clean, vibrant, beautiful streets and public spaces are central to a community that people want to live in. Research shows that living near blight and uncared for public spaces negatively impacts mental health while public art, community gardens, and other projects that make our neighborhood streets and public spaces safer, more accessible, and more beautiful benefit the whole community. The Vision Plan identifies a number of projects which increase the vibrancy of streets and public spaces and increase positive programming and activities in our public spaces. Some of these projects have been funded through our Neighborhood Grants program!

Through grant funding, the Southwest Partnership is able to provide grants to community members for capital projects that 

  • Increase the vibrancy of streets and public spaces
  • Improve the quality of life for current residents
  • Reduce or prevent blight
  • Increase and encourage community engagement and use of public spaces

Our theme this year is bringing communities back together. We're especially interested in funding projects that reconnect neighbors to each other and to public spaces in our community. These could include:

  • Projects that increase safety and make community members feel more comfortable out and about in the neighborhoods such as lighting
  • Projects with a strong community engagement and community building component such as community gardens, playgrounds, or collaborative public art projects
  • Projects that make public spaces more usable and accessible for community members

Past projects funded have included murals and other public art, improved lighting in public spaces, neighborhood signs, and improvements at community parks and gardens. Neighborhood associations, block groups, and other community groups in the Southwest Partnership area are eligible to apply, and the grant program funds capital projects that will make a lasting, physical change to the neighborhoods.

This year, thanks to the generous support of the Lowe's Foundation and the State of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development we are able to offer two levels of awards:

  • Small Neighborhood Grants for projects $5,000 and under
  • Large Neighborhood Grants for projects between $5,000 and $20,000

We require a Letter of Intent (LOI) to be submitted and approved for Large Neighborhood Grants. LOIs are due on April 12th. There are slightly different requirements for Small and Large Neighborhood Grants, although both grants have the same application. Please read the below Application Guidelines and Application carefully and contact us or attend an information session if you have any questions.

For more information please contact Elizabeth Weber at grants@swpbal.org or 667-210-2105.

Spring 2022 Information Sessions

All information sessions are also posted on our calendar at swpbal.org/calendar/events

March 9th 6pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86804149399?pwd=Y2YwTVdpVVpkWmpMMjR3dFJndkczUT09

March 29th 12pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83406479180?pwd=Z3E2RlRGUHNxc2dvRUtmQm1OejRaQT09

March 30th 6pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82971568401?pwd=NUtrQVVaM05Kdm1RZlVrSUUwZkY2UT09

May 10th 12pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85070681812?pwd=SXhHbnp4a0VFb2toQ2syc001dFIzUT09

May 11th 6pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86791121177?pwd=bGxJNlhQaXZjc0czaFVjMGxPN1pvZz09

Congratulations to our Fall 2021 Awardees!

  • The Barre Circle Community Association for fencing and landscaping a vacant, community maintained lot
  • The Hollins Roundhouse Association for landscaping at the Schroeder and Lombard St Lots of Art park
  • The Mount Clare Community Council for murals in the Mount Clare neighborhood
  • The Southwest Sports and Fitness Alliance for the Kids Play mural in Union Square
  • The Union Square Association for the Union Square neighborhood mural at Gilmor and Pratt St

 

What types of projects are eligible?

Capital projects are eligible–projects that make a long term, physical change to the neighborhood. This can include landscaping and fencing of lots or gardens, public art (murals, statues), installation of infrastructure such as lights or trashcans, and neighborhood signs.

All projects must have a capital component--they must result in a physical project in the community. A good rule of thumb is that someone needs to be able to see and touch the project once it has been completed. This year we do have some funding flexibility to be able to support some non-capital costs associated with capital projects (such as maintenance for landscaping, or food for a community mural event).

All projects must be in the public space–outside and accessible to the community.

If you have a question about whether or not a project would be eligible please contact Elizabeth at grants@swpbal.org or 667-281-9082

Who Can Apply?

Any group of community members! We require each project to have two identified project leads who commit to completing the project if its funded, but they don’t need to be representing an official organization. Any church, neighborhood association, Friends of a Park group, non-profit organization, or just group of interested neighbors is eligible. We won’t fund for profit businesses, but businesses can definitely partner with their community.

What Should Projects Do?

Projects should increase the vibrancy of streets and public spaces, reduce or prevent blight, and/or improve the quality of life for current residents. They should make the public, outdoor space more attractive, welcoming, clean, safe, and/or usable for residents and visitors. This year we are particularly interested 

Where Can Projects Take Place?

In any of the seven Southwest Partnership neighborhoods: Barre Circle, Franklin Square, Hollins Roundhouse, Mount Clare, Pigtown, Poppleton, and Union Square. Projects must take place in the public space–outside and accessible to the entire community. If a project will take place on private property you will need to have written permission from the property owner.

Do I Need to Submit a Letter of Intent? Why Do I Need to Submit a Letter of Intent?

We are requiring Letters of Intent to be submitted for projects over $5000 (up to the $20,000 maximum). Letters of Intent will be reviewed and approved before final applications can be submitted. Submitting a Letter of Intent will allow SWP staff to review the feasibility of larger projects, and give us an opportunity to support you in thinking through the project and submitting a final application. Letters of Intent will not be scored or ranked--they will be reviewed to make sure they meet the program requirements. Projects under $5,000 do not need to submit a letter of intent--just the final application which is due on June 1st.

Are There Different Applications for Small and Large Neighborhood Grants?
Nope! The application is the same and is available below. There are slightly different site control and neighborhood association support requirements (Large grants are required to have site control and official support from the relevant neighborhood association). 

I Need Help Filling Out and Submitting My Application!

While Southwest Partnership staff cannot plan a project or write an application for you we can help with the technical side of completing the application and with general grant writing tips. Email Elizabeth at grants@swpbal.org or call 667-281-9082

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