Within the City of Ithaca, communities with diverse needs will be supported and brought together in 2017, aided by the latest round of Neighborhood Mini-Grants from Sustainable Tompkins. Three grants totaling $1,150 were awarded in December to the Southside Community Center, Multicultural Resource Center, and Spencer Road Neighborhood Association.

The Southside Community Center will begin running a preschool in autumn 2017, providing affordable, high-quality childcare to lower-income families in the Southside neighborhood.  A Mini-Grant will support the purchase of classroom equipment.

The Multicultural Resource Center is leading the volunteer-driven creation of a “Portals to Peace” mural on downtown Ithaca’s Green Street parking garage, celebrating Muslim culture and demonstrating support for current and future Muslim residents. A Mini-Grant will support the purchase of paint and other supplies.

The Spencer Road Neighborhood Association wants to host roadside cleanups along Spencer Road in southwestern Ithaca, seeking to involve the area’s entire neighborhood. A Mini-Grant will fund supplies and advertising for cleanups in May and October 2017.

Since 2008, the Neighborhood Mini-Grant Program has provided small grants to organizations, community groups, and micro-businesses in support of initiatives that encourage local self-reliance, strengthen neighborhood connections, and improve communities’ quality of life.

Sponsors include the Park Foundation, Beck Equipment, Natural Investments, Finger Lakes Wealth Management, and Craig Riecke. Sustainable Tompkins welcomes new sponsors to carry the program into 2017. Email gay@sustainabletompkins.org for details.