Last year, the Community Development Division launched the Neighborhood Improvement Grant program, which is designed to support neighborhood projects that beautify public spaces and strengthen community involvement. Projects completed in the first year of the program include murals, historic markers and neighborhood markers.
“I’m impressed by the creativity and thought our neighborhood residents put into their applications,” said Mayor Henry. “These projects will help beautify our neighborhoods and instill pride in the residents that live in them.”
Grants up to $5,000 were available for registered Fort Wayne neighborhood associations or one of the City’s four Area Partnerships. Accepted projects need to provide a capital improvement that enhances spaces within public view. Routine maintenance, social events or operating expenses are not eligible. A team of Community Development staff evaluated and scored the applications based on grant criteria and available funding and made the following awards.
Grant recipients and their projects include:
• Fairfield Neighborhood – Installation of ten identification signs throughout the neighborhood to help brand the Fairfield area and create a sense of place. The grant is for $2,475 with a match of $200 from the neighborhood.
• Foster Park Neighborhood – Installation of 13 light pole banners to help brand the neighborhood. The grant is for $1,424.86 with a match of $1,000 from the neighborhood.
• Historic Fairmont Neighborhood – Installation of two high-quality, six-foot park benches, one placed in front of Antonuccio’s Italian Market, 4011 S. Wayne Ave., the other outside Joe’s Barber Shop, 4039 W. Wayne Ave. A bike rack will also be placed outside Antonuccio’s. A custom metal marker mounted on a large stone will be placed next to the bench outside the barber shop. The marker will commemorate the service of Fort Wayne Police Officer David Tinsley, who died in the line of service in 2018 and was a resident of the neighborhood. The grant is for $3,074 with a match of $295.
• Historic South Wayne Neighborhood – Painting of a mural at the building owned by Growing Minds, 3320 Fairfield Ave. A new maintenance-free picnic table will also be added along with landscaping. The grant is for $5,000 with $1,000 provided in matching funds.
• Hoagland-Masterson Neighborhood – Installation of 20 neighborhood signs that will be placed on light poles to help identify the area and create a sense of place. The grant is for $2,026 with a $102.45 match.
• Mount Vernon Park Neighborhood – Installation of a community garden on a vacant lot on Elmrow Drive. Residents and youth will help maintain and harvest the garden, while the nearby Many Nations Church will maintain the lawn. The grant is for $3,330.
• West Central Neighborhood – Artwork will be created and “wrapped” around five traffic signal boxes located in the neighborhood. The neighborhood will select the art, which will be printed onto laminate material and then applied to the boxes. The grant is for $5,000 with a $3,000 match.
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