Applications are now available for the 2011 Neighborhood Improvement Grant Fund from the city of Elgin. Revisions to the program were approved by city council on March 9, 2011. The revised program will use the same criteria and eligibility requirements as in the past, with the additional requirement that all projects must be compatible with sustainable practices and demonstrate a focus on “green” projects. The revised grant program will continue to provide funding for both small and large neighborhood improvement projects.
The Small Sparks Project Fund has been renamed the Small Green Project Fund and continues to be available throughout the year (as long as funding remains). It will provide matching funds up to $1,000 to support projects such as community raised bed gardens, bicycle racks, education-al or recycling events.
The Large Project Fund was renamed the Sustainable Neighborhood Project Fund and remains a matching grant program. Capped at $15,000 maximum, the program will continue to require a formal application and review process with awards given out once a year. Projects such as rain gardens, community gardens, permeable pavers, solar lighting, or bike/walking path im-provements are examples of eligible projects. The application deadline for the Sustainable Neighborhood Project Fund is April 15. Applicants are encouraged to make an appointment for a pre-application review prior to submitting their final application by calling 847-931-5667.
The city of Elgin established the Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program (NIGP) in 1996 to provide financial assistance and incentives for neighborhood groups and community organiza-tions in the development and implementation of projects benefiting their respective neighbor-hoods. The grants were designed to encourage citizen participation and community pride through supporting volunteer efforts in the neighborhoods.
Applications and guidelines are available on-line at www.cityofelgin.org/NIGP or call the city at 847-931-6100 to request a mailed copy. For more information about the grant program, contact the Neighborhood Engagement Office at 847-931-5667.