Tuesday June 9, 2009
Brightside awarded NatureScape grants to area nonprofit groups for a variety of beautification projects today. Winning projects include a sensory garden for visually impaired pre-school students, graffiti removal kits for an area business association, a tree replacement program for a neighborhood devastated by the wind and ice storms, and several community gardens.
Neighborhood groups, suburban cities, schools and nonprofit organizations apply for Brightside’s NatureScape grants twice a year to obtain funds for beautification projects. The total amount funded this spring is $12,500, with awards ranging from $400 to $1,500 each.
“Brightside's NatureScape grants provide unique opportunities for residents to work together to beautify and enhance their community,” said Cynthia Knapek, Brightside Executive Director. “Playing an active role in the projects empower citizens to make a difference.”
Brightside’s NatureScape grants are funded entirely through private donations, including sponsorship from YUM! Brands. “Thanks to YUM! Brands, we are able to assist groups in the development of community gardens, which will help families supplement their diets with fresh, healthy vegetables, while lowering their grocery bill,” Knapek said.
The NatureScape Grant project was created to assist groups in Louisville with beautification projects. Grants are funded entirely by Brightside donors and are awarded in the spring and fall each year. Brightside is particularly interested in projects that “green up” the community, involve partnerships and include neighborhood residents.
NatureScape Grants are available for any officially recognized 501 (c) non profit group. Groups may apply for two funding cycles in a row for a total of $3,000, but must wait for one year before re-applying again, so that other organizations may benefit.
Brightside’s Fall NatureScape deadline is August 20, 2009. Neighborhood groups, suburban cities, non-profit organizations, schools and places of worship are encouraged to apply. Groups interested in applying for NatureScape Grants should call Brightside at 574-2613 or visit www.brightsideinc.org. Click here for application.
Brightside’s NatureScape Grant Awards
Brightside’s NatureScape Grants are funded by Brightside donors.
* New for 2009 -- Community Garden projects are sponsored by YUM! Brands
The following gardens have been funded thanks to the
generosity of YUM! Brands
*Americana Community Center Funded - $1,000
The Americana Community Center will expand their community garden, providing produce to supplement the diets of over thirty families. Given the current economy, a space for families to grow their own food is becoming a more critical need. Families involved in the project come from all over the world, including Bosnia, Congo, Guatemala, Burma, Vietnam and the United States.
*Ballard High School/ Beecher Terrace Academic Enrichment Center Funded - $1,000
Ballard High School will create an outdoor classroom and vegetable garden for students participating in the Beecher Terrace Academic Enrichment Center. In addition to character education and learning sustainability through gardening, the organization hopes to instill a sense of community pride as participants see the value of their contributions to the project. The Beecher Terrace Academic Enrichment Center serves high school students and is a partnership between Ballard High School, Jefferson County Public Schools, Spalding University, Louisville Metro Housing Authority and the Kentucky Department of Education.
Districts 16 & 4
*Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana Funded - $920
Will develop the “Back to the Roots” vegetable garden program for youth and teens of the Shawnee Boys and Girls Club. The program will give youth the tools they need to grow their own fresh vegetables, which will be harvested for the existing Kids Café program and future culinary arts program.
*Boy Scouts, Troop 380 Eagle Project/St. Patrick Church Funded - $400
Austin Lauer, a 17-year-old Boy Scout, is partnering with St. Patrick Church to build raised vegetable garden beds for the KY Volunteers of America. Men participating in the VOA’s rehabilitation program will provide care and maintenance for the beds, harvesting food which will be used in their facility. Members of the Boy Scouts, along with adult volunteers will participate in the project. Austin is orchestrating the project in an effort to earn his Eagle Scout award.
Districts 19 & 4
*Buechel Metropolitan High School Funded - $750
This program will assist in the creation of a community garden, providing students from high risk backgrounds the opportunity to get in touch with the earth, bond with teachers and neighbors and see their hard work develop into self-confidence. Harvested food will be cooked, canned, frozen and pickled in their practical living department, then served to students in the cafeteria. The gardening theme will be incorporated throughout the school’s curriculum, teaching hands-on living skills to the students.
*Fresh Start Metro Village, Inc. Funded - $1,000
Fresh Start Metro Village, a residential facility for boys, ages 12-17, will create a community garden as a way to build self-esteem and team work among residents, while learning about self-sufficiency by growing their own food. The boys will dedicate the garden in memory of a resident who passed away this year.
*Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) Funded - $1,500
VIPS will build a sensory garden for the blind and visually impaired children who visit the facility on a weekly basis. By touching trees, tasting vegetables and hearing the wind blow on wind chimes, these children will begin to develop a sense of their surroundings. Each vegetable, plant and tree will include a Braille plaque, allowing children to practice their Braille skills and become more familiar with each object in the garden. The site will also be wheelchair accessible, creating a space for all children to enjoy.
The following projects have been funded thanks to the generosity of
Center for Women and Families Funded - $850
The Center for Women and Families will beautify their West Louisville Campus by installing plants and shrubs to make the site more welcoming to clients and guests. The campus offers transitional shelter for up to 30 women and children who are fleeing a domestic violence situation.
City of Bellemead Funded - $1,000
This project will assist the City of Bellemead in phase one of their tree and flower replacement plan. Devastated by the hurricane and ice storm, the city will work together to restore their once beautiful tree canopy and flower plantings. Beautifying these visible locations will impact both residents and the broader community who frequent this area. Bellemead will match in full Brightside’s NatureScape grant award, as well as secure 200 volunteer hours over the coming year.
Clifton Community Council Funded - $1,000
Will enhance and beautify two sites along the Frankfort Avenue corridor. The sites were originally planted 20 years ago and many of the plants have died out. Neighborhood volunteers will plant flowers, water the site and provide ongoing maintenance, making it a source of pride for the Clifton community.
East Market Business Association Funded - $1500
This pilot program will provide graffiti removal kits to area property and business owners. In recent months, the area has suffered a significant increase in the amount of graffiti plaguing the neighborhood. Graffiti removal is the responsibility of the property owner, yet its removal is often beyond the average person’s capabilities. The kits will allow business and property owners to quickly remove graffiti from their buildings, which will beautify the area and curb the spread of graffiti tagging.
Friendly Hills East Neighborhood Association Funded - $1500
This neighborhood association will recruit residents to beautify a lot at the entrance of the neighborhood. This lot, abandoned in the early 1980’s, was littered with trash and beer bottles until the Friendly Hills East Neighborhood Association purchased the property with the help of Councilman James Peden. Plans for the project include planting trees, shrubs, flowers, installing a water supply and eventually creating a walking path and adding benches for residents to enjoy.