BUFFALO, N.Y. — If you belong to a community group, block club or have a small, locally-owned business, there's money available to spruce up the neighborhood where it's located.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and the city's Division of Citizen Services announced the application deadline has been extended to June 4 for the 'Love Your Block' program. In its third year, the program awards grants up to $1,500 for projects that will transform or beautify a public space.
“As we continue to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive City of opportunity, I continue to support programs that leverage community engagement and volunteerism to further improve and beautify our diverse neighborhoods,” Mayor Brown said.
“This successful program provides a great opportunity for our residents to make a hands-on difference in their communities and I encourage groups and small businesses to apply. I want to thank the Division of Citizen Services for spearheading a program driven by a grassroots, community-led, effort to improve Buffalo’s neighborhoods.“
Targeted neighborhoods this year are: Broadway-Fillmore, Kensington-Bailey, Masten Park, Riverside and Buffalo's Upper and Lower West Side. Block clubs and organizations outside of those neighborhoods are still eligible to apply for the grants, but priority will be given to projects in those areas.
“The Love Your Block program works to connect residents to City and community services, empowering our block club community and organizations to lead revitalization projects that they want to see in their area, ‘’ said Director Oswaldo Mestre. “This community-wide effort aims to eliminate blight and provides measurable visual and physical improvements in our local neighborhoods. Love Your Block is working to reach long-term goals like the increased quality of life, safer neighborhoods, increased social cohesion, and ultimately a stronger Buffalo community, one block at a time.”
Proposed projects must fall in one of the four categories:
Vacant Lot Activation: Community garden/greenhouse, playground, public art installation, and recreational space,
Community Space Revitalization: Repairs or modifications to community facilities (schools, community centers, park shelters, senior centers, etc.), graffiti removal and/or replacement of graffiti with a mural, planting trees and/or landscaping community facilities,
Accessibility Improvements: Implementing creative lighting, replacing broken or worn out litter bins, creating/managing a “tool library” where neighborhood groups can borrow & return tools for cleanup projects,
Streetscape Improvements: Community volunteer-led beautification on the business strips in the five identified target areas. This includes landscaping, art installments, pedestrian spaces, lighting improvements, and public safety.