West Village GardenersAnother round of Neighborhood Mini-Grants will be made in early March by Sustainable Tompkins. Since 2008, the Neighborhood Mini-grants program has awarded nearly $60,000 to support 147 innovative, grassroots projects throughout Tompkins County. Our goal is to support and stimulate resident-based, “bottom-up” initiatives that improve the quality of life of residents by building capacity, resilience, and leadership through collaborative projects.

Applications for the next rounds of grants are due on March 1, 2016. All residents, citizen groups and non-profit organizations of Tompkins County are eligible to apply. Proposals must demonstrate a community benefit. Awards range from $150 to $750 for non-staff project expenses. To obtain an application form, make a donation in support of the program, or get more information, contact Sasha Paris (sasha@sustainabletompkins.org or call (607) 272-1720).

Mini-grants have provided critical seed money to launch several ongoing and successful bike clinics, community gardens, youth leadership groups, and more. It’s people power making a difference locally!  Eligible applicants are residents of Tompkins County, including neighborhood or community organizations, newly formed groups of neighbors with a specific project in mind, or civic-minded individuals who can show community support for their project. Grants are for small, relatively simple projects that in some way support, or “seed”, greater equity, self-sufficiency, and lasting social, economic and environmental health.

Applications are reviewed quarterly by the Mini-Grant Council, comprised of local citizens and members of Sustainable Tompkins’ board and staff. Neighborhood Mini-Grants are made possible by a grant from the Park Foundation, along with grassroots support from members of our local communities.