Do you have an idea for a project to make our community more resilient or more inclusive? Need a little help in covering the costs?  Sustainable Tompkins is accepting applications for our spring round of Neighborhood Mini-Grants. Applications are due March 1.

The Sustainable Tompkins Neighborhood Mini-Grant program provides support for initiatives promoting environmental sustainability and social and economic vitality in Tompkins County. 

Grants range from $150-$750 and have been awarded to diverse entities for locally-based initiatives supporting sustainable food systems, alternative transportation, waste reduction, energy conservation, renewable energy production, environmental education, social justice, and community building. Proposals are reviewed quarterly by a team of community members. Sponsored by the Park Foundation, Beck Equipment, Natural Investments, Finger Lakes Wealth Management, Craig Riecke, and local donors.

Individuals, organizations, and neighborhood groups are welcome to apply, as are modest-income owners of micro-enterprises seeking to green their operations or extend their services to low-income clientele. The program began including small businesses in December 2015, with an award supporting the purchase of an electric cargo bike by mobile food vendor ¡BiciCocina!

Successful initiatives supported by Neighborhood Mini-Grants in 2016 include the creation of a “pop-up” farmers’ market in Freeville, bike rack installation at the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library book sale headquarters, and the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute’s third annual public tour of regional farms and gardens. Mini-Grants were most recently awarded to the Spencer Road Neighborhood Association for biannual road cleanups, the Multicultural Resource Center for creation of a public mural celebrating Muslim culture, and Southside Community Center for classroom equipment in the preschool it will open this year.

Applications are due on or before March 1, 2017. To request an application form, or if you have questions, please contact me at