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Sarasota County launches 2018 neighborhood grants program

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For more than fifteen years, Sarasota County has provided matching grant opportunities to help neighborhoods improve their leadership, character, safety, health, or environment through the Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program.

Last year, Sarasota County awarded nearly all of the program's $99,000 to 13 neighborhoods located throughout the county. Now, Sarasota County's Neighborhood Services team is preparing to educate and inspire residents for the next round of grants. Applicants must attend a two-hour application seminar to be eligible for the program, which awards up to $10,000 in matching funds to a single neighborhood. Seminars will be offered during the months of February, March and April.

Program activity will continue during the rest of the year with a series called "Neighborhood Stories." The stories will bring together grant recipients, subject matter experts and members of the Neighborhood Initiative Grant Advisory Committee to discuss a completed neighborhood grant project.

"Attendees learn the details and step-by-step process of the grant program at the application seminar, but we wanted to give them an opportunity to hear first-hand success stories from our grant recipients, too. With the neighborhood stories series, they also receive insight from our staff liaisons and members of the scoring committee," says Miranda Lansdale, who coordinates the grant program.

A sister program, the Sarasota County Neighborhood Challenge, will also be sharing neighborhood stories on March 7 at the Gulf Gate Library. Representatives from each of last year's champion neighborhoods will discuss the impacts of the neighborhood challenge on engagement, determination and vitality to their communities. Two of the three champion neighborhoods have completed a Neighborhood Initiative Grant Project and earned points in the challenge for doing so.

"We're very proud of the achievements coming from Sarasota County's neighborhoods, and look forward to keeping the momentum going with the grant program and the neighborhood challenge," said Neighborhood Services Manager Jane Grogg.

For more information on the grant program or the Sarasota County Neighborhood Challenge, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit (keywords: grants or neighborhood challenge).