NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced 10 grant recipients as part of the “Love Your Block” program, which invites community groups to identify neighborhood revitalization projects and develop volunteer-fueled solutions. Since the program was announced in March, 104 groups have applied. Ten awards were made in the spring, for a total of 20 total grants awarded this year.
“Love Your Block” is based upon a Cities of Service model whereby the Mayor’s Office encourages citizens to take on small-scale projects to improve and beautify their neighborhoods. Funding for the program comes from a $10,000 gift from the Home Depot Foundation, awarded to the Landrieu Administration’s ServeNOLA initiative through ServiceNation, an organization that promotes volunteerism across America. Each recipient receives a Home Depot gift card valued at $500.
“It’s exciting that so many community groups are stepping forward with ideas to revitalize our neighborhoods, block by block,” said Mayor Landrieu. “This grant fosters a sense of community and a commitment to service that will have lasting benefits in our City.”
So far 1,012 volunteers have worked 217 hours to complete the first "Love Your Block" projects, including neighborhood clean-ups, graffiti removal, landscaping, and improving community gardens.
Members of the Aurora United Methodist Church in Algiers partnered with Boy Scout Troop 4 to build 11 mini libraries in neighborhoods throughout New Orleans. The libraries stand near sidewalks and offer community members the opportunity to borrow books for free or leave a book for others to enjoy.
The Edgewood Park Neighborhood Association worked with Beacon of Hope to improve the neutral ground along Franklin Avenue. Thirty nine volunteers worked together to plant raised garden beds that enliven two Edgewood Park neighborhood signs.
Recipients and their respective projects awarded grants in this second round of applications include:
DeSaix Area Neighborhood Association: Bench and landscaping along Bayou St. John at Moss Street and Parkview Place.
Confetti Kids Inc.: Mulch and protect shade trees, Delcazal Park, Opelousas Street in Algiers.
Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association: Improvements to an existing community orchard at Gallier Street and North Roman Street in the Upper Ninth Ward.
Broadmoor Improvement Association: Plant trees at Washington Street at Broad Street in Broadmoor.
Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative: Create a community garden and mural at Jane Place in Mid-City.
Village de L’Est Improvement Association: Landscape entrances to subdivision, Michoud Boulevard, Village de l’Est.
CDC 58:12, Inc: Neighborhood clean-up and landscaping on Louisa Street in the Desire neighborhood.
Resurrection After Exoneration Community Garden Initiative: Improvements to new community garden, Columbus Street at Marais Street, 7th Ward.
Benjamin Banneker Elementary and Middle School: Improve landscaping at Benjamin Banneker School on Burdette Street in the Uptown Triangle Neighborhood.
NO/AIDS Task Force: Create a garden for a community kitchen at South Claiborne Avenue and Jefferson Avenue in Uptown.
ServeNOLA managed a competitive grant process, soliciting applications from neighborhood groups throughout the city. Eligible groups are comprised of at least five members who are not in the same family and who live in New Orleans. The project must take place in New Orleans and be completed by October 30, 2012.
Proposed projects were judged on viability, sustainability and inclusiveness. Applications had to provide realistic project goals and a budget, as well as plans for obtaining supplies, for requesting additional assistance from other sources, and for maintaining the project in the future. Groups awarded a grant will be required to submit a post-project report to the City that includes project details, photographs, and receipts from Home Depot.
ServeNOLA will also provide recipients with technical assistance in planning and budgeting. Work must be completed within 30 days of receiving the grant.
Those interested in learning more about the “Love Your Block” program or to get further information can call ServeNOLA at 504-658-4964 or visit http://www.nola.gov/loveyourblock/.