'Love Your Block' provides grant for neighborhood cleanup
BATON ROUGE, LA — Community gardens, landscaping, new signage, graffiti removal and neighborhood clean-up campaigns are just some of the projects that could qualify for up to $750 in grant money under the City of Baton Rouge’s new “Love Your Block” program.
Sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation and Exxon Mobil Corporation, the new program encourages neighbors to work together to fight blight and make their block a better place to live. The program will provide at least 20 grants of up to $750 apiece for block beautification and improvement.
The Love Your Block initiative was developed under a $200,000 Cities of Service Leadership Grant, funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, to encourage and promote volunteerism.
Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden said the Love Your Block program can ultimately help to reduce crime in Baton Rouge. He said studies have shown that crime often thrives in neglected neighborhoods.
“By encouraging volunteers to help revitalize these blighted neighborhoods, we’re hoping to make Baton Rouge a better and safer place for everyone,” Mayor Holden said.
Applications for the “Love Your Block” grants are currently being accepted, and can be downloaded with instructions at www.brgov.com/batonrougeproud To qualify, each group must:
• Be volunteer-led. Eligible groups include, among others, neighborhood, tenant and block associations, as well as community garden groups, and school and church-based groups,
• Demonstrate the ability to mobilize a minimum of 10 neighborhood volunteers to take part in the Love Your Block project,
• Submit a “Love Your Block” application that includes signatures and phone numbers of at least 50% of the residents on the block.
• Send two representatives to a Love Your Block workshop in the Fall of 2011,