City Beautification Grants

by Theresa Custodio
Volunteers can apply for local government funds to beautify their communities.

Volunteers can apply for local government funds to beautify their communities.

Many cities and town across the United States offer some type of funding for residents and community groups to use for public landscaping and related projects. Grants have to applied for and most require some matching of funds by the entity asking for public money. In the end, successful grants and projects can add to the natural beauty of any city.

Beautification Grants

The city of Town and Country Missouri, in suburban St. Louis, encourages residents living in subdivisions to enhance their neighborhoods with beautification grants. These grants are used to modify landscaping at subdivision entrances and in cul-de-sac areas. Money is also used to install irrigation to the landscaped area, and for refurbishing subdivision welcome signs. Proposals may be funded up to 50 percent of the cost with a maximum award of $5,000. The remaining half of the expenses must be matched by the applicant. The city requires grant applicants to maintain the landscaping once it is in place and to acquire any permits that may be necessary before the project can begin. Each grant application is reviewed by the city’s Conservation and Historic Preservation Commission which then makes a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen. The board will make the final decision for grant allocation and the city will inspect the completed project prior to reimbursing the grantee for the costs involved. City of Town and Country 1011 Municipal Center Drive Town and Country, MO 63131 314-432-6606 town-and-country.org

Keep San Jose Beautiful

Keep San Jose Beautiful is a community wide project that awards funding to neighborhood groups, schools, and non-profit organizations for a variety of beautification projects. Monies are provided for landscaping using plants and trees, fountains, and planter boxes along public walkways, in parks, and around benches and tables used by residents and visitors. Projects should involve beautifying areas that are extremely visible and include a theme to promote the heritage of San Jose and instill a sense of community pride. Funding from $500 to $3,500 is available twice a year with applicants required to match funds dollar for dollar. Applicants must provide a short presentation to the Grant Review Committee and be able to answer questions from its members before the grant application is fully reviewed and awarded funding. Keep San Jose Beautiful 1601 Foxworthy Avenue San Jose, CA 95118 408-723-1574 sjbeautiful.org

Tulsa Beautification Foundation Grants

The city of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Beautification Foundation awards grant money to registered neighborhood associations and non-profit groups for projects aimed at enhancing neighborhoods and public areas through landscaping. Applicants are required to match all grant funds on a one-to-one basis. The grantees match may include donated services and materials, plus any volunteer work hours. Community organizations are encouraged to merge their efforts and apply for beautification grants together. Private companies and individual citizens are not eligible for these grants; however community groups and associations may form a partnership with them to assist in all stages of the project. The Tulsa Beautification Foundation makes all final decisions on the awarding of grant monies. Tulsa Beautification Foundation 7030 South Yale Suite 600 Tulsa, OK 74136 918-591-2426 cityoftulsa.org

About the Author

Theresa Custodio is a Michigan-certified nurseryman with over 10 years experience. She has spent over five years working for the State of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality writing permits and violation notices, which are published for public record. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University with a major in biology and a minor in conservation and resource use.

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