Let's talk about grants, baby. Has your neighborhood received one? We're ramping up for Cycle 30 - that's right, THIRTY! The Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program has been offering two cycles per year for fifteen years. There have been over $1.25 million in funds awarded to homeowners associations, condominium associations, mobile home associations, and ad hoc neighborhood partnerships; encompassing projects that address neighborhood character, leadership, safety, environment and health.
If you would like to learn more about this matching grant program, the coming month is full of opportunities. On May 30, we will host a Grant Share-shop featuring the completed Pine Run Association project (Cycle 26) that removed invasive plant species from natural habitat area. The Share-shop will be presented at Gulf Gate Library from 4:00pm - 5:00pm.
Grant Workshops, which are mandatory for establishing applicant eligibility, will run May 31 through June 19. RSVP for a Workshop to email@example.com.
Our current round of grant applications will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners for their approval on June 7. And, if your heart is drawn to helping improvements happen for neighborhoods around the county, consider applying to be a member of our Neighborhood Initiative Grant Advisory Committee (we currently have an opening).
Sarasota County is working to update its Trails Master Plan, and residents are invited to be part of the process through a series of public meetings and an online survey. Read more on their webpage...
Sarasota County Emergency Services is in the process of updating the methodology for determining fire assessments, and is inviting the community to learn about the proposed changes to the fire assessment program. Fire assessments are charges imposed against real property to fund the fire services provided to citizens. One meeting date remains - Tuesday, May 16 at Gulf Gate Library, 6:00pm.
Take some time on Saturday, May 20 to get to know a neighbor many residents in Sarasota County share - Phillippi Creek. "Reclaiming Phillippi Creek" will be an event for the whole family, with exciting activities for children and educational presentations for adults. Learn more about this free event on the registration page.
Summer programming at Sarasota County libraries is about to begin - did you know their programs don't focus just on children and teens? This summer's theme is "Build a Better World," and activities can be found in every library June 1 through August 5. Also consider participating in the Artists in Libraries series, which is available through a partnership with the Arts & Cultural Alliance and the Library Foundation. Read the media release for more information.
Our neighborhood would like to replace/enhance the landscaping that runs along our boundary, but we're not sure who we need to talk to or what questions to ask.
Your project may involve discussions with multiple departments. First, determine who owns the property. It's possible that what you thought belonged to the neighborhood actually falls within a city or county Right-of-Way (ROW). If that's the case, you'll likely need a permit to do work in that area. Second, understand any landscape buffer/screening requirements that might be in place for your neighborhood. Third, we encourage your neighborhood to go "Florida-Friendly" with its new landscaping design. The UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension Services & Sustainability is an excellent resource for Florida-Friendly landscaping know-how. If you are in unincorporated Sarasota County, we'd recommend contacting 941-861-5000 as a one-stop shop for assistance with these questions. And need we mention - consider applying for a neighborhood grant?
Until we Connect again,
Your Neighborhood Services Team
Jane Grogg, Manager
Miranda Lansdale, Community Outreach Specialist
Megan Lui, Planner
Katie White, Planner