Kelowna offering money for good neighbourhood ideas

City says it has grant funding available for its Strong Neighbourhoods program

The city says if you have a great idea to help enhance your neighbourhood, it may have a grant for you.

The city is asking residents to turn their ideas into action with the Strong Neighbourhoods grant, money for Kelowna residents interested in planning a neighbourhood enhancing project.

Anyone with an idea is encouraged to apply for up to $1,000 in matching grant funds by Nov. 2.

“We’ve seen many innovative ideas come to life through the Neighbourhoods Grant, and we’ve been excited to see neighbours come together to connect and build relationships by working on a project,” said Tanya Sletten, community development coordinator.

“By fostering good relationships with those who live around you, you can help enhance your community’s safety and feelings of welcoming and inclusivity.”

The Neighbourhood Grant is funded through the city’s Strong Neighbourhoods Program, with support from the Central Okanagan Foundation. In 2018, more than 400 residents participated in nine projects, including the creation of a neighbourhood garden, back alley painting, an aeration project in Belmont Pond and re-building a fence.

“It was a windstorm that collapsed our neighbourhood fence that actually brought the whole neighbourhood together”, said Paul Malkinson, the fence project coordinator.

“Before this incident some of us knew each other, but after we came together to rebuild the fence with the help of the Strong Neighbourhood grant program we now all know each other, and have committed to continue to arrange gatherings to stay connected. We have found that the neighbours we had only glimpsed occasionally are all wonderful folks. I, as the project coordinator, found that the value of knowing, truly knowing your neighbours is what makes a neighbourhood worth living in.”

While residents can apply any time, funding is released three times per year and the 2018 final intake is Nov. 2 for projects happening between January and April of 2019. This grant program is only available for Kelowna residents.

For more information about the Neighbourhood Grant, visit kelowna.ca/neighbourhoods.

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