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Neighborhood grant workshops start in December

Area neighborhoods looking to make changes to their communities should consider attending an upcoming neighborhood grant workshop. Workshops will present the details of the Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program, which provides up to $10,000 per neighborhood.

The program, which has helped Sarasota County neighborhoods since 2002, requires neighborhoods to match at least 50 percent of project expenses. While some neighborhoods match funds through cash and donations, others opt to garner credit through $15 per hour of volunteer labor.

The first six months of the process includes attendance at a workshop, research by the neighborhood, consultation with county staff, support development, application submission, review and scoring by an advisory committee, and final approval by the Board of County Commissioners. From that point, neighborhoods have one year to complete the project and submit a final report.

"The feedback we get from those neighborhoods that put the time and effort in to improving their communities through the grant program is overwhelmingly positive," said Miranda Lansdale, grant program coordinator. "We encourage everyone looking to make a difference in their communities to learn more about this worthwhile program."

Projects can be proposed within one of five themes:

  • Character: place-making through the creation or enhancement of assets that are a source of pride and neighborhood identity.
  • Leadership: training neighborhood leaders or teams, and developing skills, for neighborhood governance or action.
  • Safety: equipping the neighborhood with knowledge or tools to prevent, prepare for, confront or respond to incidences of crime, danger or disaster.
  • Environment: protecting water and energy resources and native habitats.
  • Health: increasing access to nutritious diets, and physical or mental fitness.

Images of recently completed projects can be viewed in the Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program photo album on the Neighborhood Services Facebook page,

The next round of Neighborhood Initiative Grant workshops will be offered in December and January, with applications anticipated for presentation to the Board of County Commissioners in June 2017. Registration for workshops is required; workshop dates are available on the Neighborhood Services website by visiting, and using 'Neighborhood Grants' as the keyword.

If you have a project idea for your neighborhood, or simply want to learn more about the program, register for a workshop by calling 941-861-5000 or emailing

For additional information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.