Thursday, July 12, 2007

City's Annual Free-Money Giveaway

It's that time of year again... to start applying for the over $800,000 available in Community Beautification Grants from the City's Department of Public Works. Matching grants of up to $10K are awarded in February/April of next year, but the deadline to apply is October of 2007 The applications and details are available at the official OCB website here.

So what are these grants for, you ask? Beautifying the community (hence the name). Here's a sample of what was funded last year:

$10K to beautify an elementary school lunchroom in Brentwood
$9999.54 for a canopy and sculpture in El Sereno
$4209.47 to upgrade a community garden in East Hollywood
$10K for a church in Sun Valley to add "landscape and concrete for the children to play on"
$9979.97 to replace the Senior Lawn at Grant High School
$10K to create a outdoor children's playground at the Alcoholism Center for Women
$9869 to landscape a median in South LA
$10K for planters on the sidewalks in Leimart Park

An interesting example of how diverse the projects can be: look how much tree plantings are in various parts of the City based on last year's grantees:

$10K to plant 20 trees in the Cahuenga Pass
$9994.41 to plant 57 trees in North Hollywood
$1657.85 to plant 27 trees in the Harvard Heights Neighborhood
$9883 to plant 130 trees in Imperial Highway just south of LAX

Details of last year's grantees are available here.

Apply for a project that has some public benefit to it. The program tries to fund equally throughout the 15 council districts, so if there are less projects from a certain area, you might have a better chance of receiving funds. That's why sometimes the projects are not as available to the public (like those inside schools or non-profits) as others (like medians, planters, street trees, etc.).

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