The City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department has announced the launch of the 2016 Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP) which will award small grants to civic and religious organizations for small local improvement projects. Developed in consultation with the City’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, NEP exists to support residents who want to work on small areas of their neighborhoods and aims to foster a wider sense of pride and community ownership downtown.
Mark Alvarado, Senior Supervisor at the Parks and Recreation Department’s Neighborhood and Outreach Services, which will evaluate applications and administer NEP grants, said he believes NEP projects will make local neighborhoods better places to live. “NEP will give grassroots organizations the opportunity to work with neighborhood residents to improve areas and add greatly to quality of life, “ said Alvarado. “A lot of times it’s the little things that count.”
NEP grants will range from $1,000 to $5,000 and may be awarded to projects such as adopt-a-park efforts, designing and painting murals, helping elderly neighbors with yard work or improving blighted areas, although other projects will be considered. Projects must be located within one of five downtown neighborhoods: Eastside, Westside, Lower Westside, Laguna, or West Downtown. NEP funding is secured for the next three years; $20,000 in grants will be available each year.
Applications for this year’s grant cycle must be received by November 10, 2015. A printable application form and informational flyer are available on the City’s website, and questions should be directed to Neighborhood and Outreach Services by phone at (805) 897-2560.