Love Your Block Hartford

1. Overview

 

Love Your Block (LYB) is a program that brings together city leaders and citizens to revitalize neighborhoods one block at a time.  LYB Hartford partners with organizations, neighborhood groups, and residents.  It is a mini-grant program that supports residents who want to make a difference in their community by funding projects focused on combating litter, activating vacant lots, and strengthening neighborhood pride. Ideal locations are gateway areas with high visibility and high-impact.

History of Love Your Block

Hartford was one of ten cities chosen by Cities of Service to receive $25,000 in funding over two years (2019-2020) and two AmeriCorps VISTAs. Love Your Block Hartford's was designed to increase neighborhood pride by creating opportunities for residents to own and lead change in their community. We will achieve this by providing competitive mini-grants that support volunteer-led anti-litter projects.

Cities of Service is a former nonprofit and current research center at Johns Hopkins University that helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and citizens work together.  Cities of Service helps their coalition cities tap into citizen insights, skills, and service to identify and solve critical public problems. Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 250 cities, representing more than 73 million people across the Americas and Europe. Since 2009, over 9,000 community members across dozens of cities have revitalized more than 2,200 blocks. They have removed 5.6 million pounds of trash, created 900 art displays, cleaned 60,000 square feet of graffiti, repaired over 70,000 square feet of community space, and maintained over 730,000 square feet of public space. Visit us at citiesofservice.org or follow us on Twitter @citiesofservice.

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to meet our nation’s most pressing challenges and advance local solutions.

2. How to Apply & Application Process

The application season for Love Your Block begins every year on Valentine's Day.  Community groups and individuals are invited to share their ideas in consideration of the full application process.  Only those who go through the idea submission process are eligible to apply for the grants.

Community groups or individuals are eligible to apply for one of the following: 

  • LYB Resident Grant - These are resident-led projects and funding may be for implementation of a new project, expansion of past projects, or maintenance of past projects that can be completed within the summer of 2022. Funding requests for up to $2,500 will be considered.
  • LYB Community Grant - These are projects led by and/or informed by residents, but that have a nonprofit implementation partner. Funding may be for planning, implementation, and/or maintenance of larger neighborhood projects. Funding requests for between $2,500 and $25,000 will be considered. 

LOVE YOUR BLOCK 2024 TIMELINE

Program Timeline

Round 1: Idea Submission

Round 2: Invitations to Apply from Round 1 submissions

  • March 22, 2024 - Selected ideas invited to submit grant application
  • April 12, 2024 - Application period ends for selected ideas invited to submit grant application
  • May, 2024 - Grant Recipients Announced
Grant Eligibility Requirements:
In order to qualify for the Love Your Block grant, each group must:
  • Propose a project within the boundaries of the City of Hartford.
  • Propose a project that highlights the uniqueness of your neighborhood.
  • Propose a project that is open to the public and beautifies and/or increases safety of your neighborhood.
  • Recruit 10 or more volunteers; 50% must be residents of the neighborhood
  • Propose a budget that does not exceed $2,500 for resident grant or $25,000 for community grant
  • Be willing to collect and document project data and results.
  • Have at least two identified project leaders and who can attend the Virtual Orientation
For Application assistance email loveyourblock@hartford.gov to request an appointment.
 
Submit Your Love Your Block Idea. Only selected ideas will be invited to apply for the grant.

Grant Eligibility Requirements:
In order to qualify for the Love Your Block grant, each group must:
  • Propose a project within the boundaries of the City of Hartford.
  • Propose a project that highlights the uniqueness of your neighborhood.
  • Propose a project that is open to the public and beautifies and/or increases safety of your neighborhood.
  • Recruit 10 or more volunteers; 50% must be residents of the neighborhood
  • Propose a budget that does not exceed $2,500 for Resident Grant, or $25,000 for Community Grant
  • Be willing to collect and document project data and results.
  • Have at least two identified project leaders and who can attend the Virtual Orientation
Visit the Love Your Block Grant Page for More Information

 

3. 2019 LYB Projects

2019 Projects

In Year One, Love Your Block Hartford funded five community revitalization projects in the Frog Hollow Neighborhood. Learn more about each project below, you can also take a look at the lookbook summarizing each project.

The Art Box Lot

Project: Vacant Lot Beautification

Project Leads: Raul Irizarry and Jose Figueroa

Outputs: 200 square foot mural created, 120 pounds of trash removed, 51 volunteers

Partners: Youth Compass Collaborative, Real Art Ways, Grow Hartford Youth, Inter-Community Resource, Betances Elementary School, Hartford Public Library Park Branch

Grant: $976.50

Leveraged: $390 cash donations and $330 in-kind donations

Outcome: The Art Box Lot at 769 Park St is a temporary lot beautification project that succeeded in creating a space for passive recreation and community events. Events in the space allowed for residents to strengthen connections and increase neighborhood pride.

Love Your Block Project The ArtBox Lot Lead Raul Irrizary


SAFEPlay Wolcott St

Project: Community Playground

Project Leads: Delene Falcon and Logan Singerman

Outputs: TBA

Partners: Frog Hollow SAFE, SINA, and Hartford Youth Service Corps

Grant: $1,000

Leveraged: TBA

Outcome: Frog Hollow SAFE plans to build a playground at 10 Wolcott St using brightly painted recycled tires and wood. Their goal is to create a safe and fun environment for neighborhood kids and families to come together and transform a vacant lot into a utilized space. After some unforeseen delays, construction of the playground will begin in Spring 2020.

Love Your Block Project Leads Logan and Delene


In The City for Good

Project: Community Benches

Project Leads: Naomi Ngoma and Louisa Barton Duguay

Outputs: 5 benches designed and painted by 30 volunteers

Partners: Emanuel Lutheran Church, Grace Lutheran Church

Grant: $1,000

Leveraged: $420 Additional Grant

Outcome: Emanuel Lutheran Church purchased 5 pallet benches with each designed by local artists with input from residents. The project allowed church members and residents to come together and make connections through painting the benches and helped to beautify the neighborhood and provide more places to sit. The benches are located along Park Street.

Love Your Block In the City for Good Project LeadsLouisa and Naomi


Grand Street Garden

Project: Community Garden

Project Leads:Jameelah Muhammad and Rasheed Ali

Outputs:10 pounds of trash removed, 15 volunteers

Partners:Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford, Charter Oak Health Center, Inter-religious Eco Justice Network, and KNOX

Grant:$950 Leveraged; $810 In-Kind donations

Outcome:Volunteers made improvements to the community garden at 31 Grand St. The project allowed for growing more food in the garden as well as engaging and educating the community. They were also able to leverage this funding and apply for additional larger grants to do additional site improvements and expand garden activities.

Love Your Block Project Lead for the Grand Street Community Garden Jameelah Muhammad


Wolcott St. Mural

 

Project: Community Mural

Project Leads: Delene Falcon & Logan Singerman

Outputs: 224 Square Foot Mural Created

Partners: Frog Hollow SAFE, SINA

Grant: $1,000

Leveraged: $1,176 Cash Donations

Outcome: Frog Hollow SAFE worked with local artist Lindaluz Carrillo to install a mural at 10 Wolcott St. The mural brought together many residents of Wolcott St. who gave input on the design and helped to paint the mural. The project allowed for bonds created between residents and beatification of the street.

LYB Wolcott St Mural

4. 2020 LYB Projects

2020 Projects

In Year Two, Love Your Block Hartford funded Fifteen community revitalization projects across the City of Hartford. Thanks to additional funding from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, we supported a sixteenth project! Learn more about each project below, you can also take a look at the lookbook summarizing each project.

LoveYourBlock_Maps_BrokenDown_CallOuts01.jpg LoveYourBlock_Maps_BrokenDown_CallOuts02.jpg LoveYourBlock_Maps_BrokenDown_CallOuts03.jpg LoveYourBlock_Maps_BrokenDown_CallOuts04.jpg

CARA Cares: Clean it Up, Keep it Up!

Project:Beautification and Environmental Safety

Project Leads: Chairperson Bea Powell & Secretary Denyse Bailey, Clay Arsenal NRZ

Grant:$1,000

Summary:CARA Cares: Clean It Up, Keep It Up! is a beautification and environmental safety project focused on the intersection of Pliny and Brook street. The main objective of this project is to beautify the lot, reduce rubbish, honor neighborhood pioneers, and bring pride to this section of the neighborhood through a neighborhood clean-up, the installation of trash containers and shrubs around the vacant lot, and the placement of a steel bench on the property in commemoration of individuals who have contributed greatly to the enhancing the community.

CARA Cares Project photo

The Labyrinth at Sterling Street

Project:Beautification and Placemaking

Project Leads: Kamora Herrington & Lauren Little, and Ira Revels - Kamora’s Cultural Corner

Grant:$1,000

Funds Leveraged: $9,418 in donations and matching funds

Summary: The Labyrinth at Sterling Street is a multi-phase beautification and project that will create a neighborhood community space and labyrinth which will be “a physical space that represents the metaphorical thought patterns and illustrates the complexity” of truly creating community. The project will include an herb and greens garden and will be accessible to everyone in the neighborhood and beyond.

The Labryinth on Sterling St.

Love My B.L.O.C

Project:Beautification, tactical urbanism, and environmental safety

Project Leads: Kelvin X. LoveJoy & Reneesha Baugh, BHCA

Grant:$1,000

Summary:Love My B.L.O.C is a beautification, tactical urbanism, and environmental safety project that seeks to beautify empty lots around Barbour and Nelson street. The goals are this project are to engage residents through community clean-ups, vacant lot development, installation of an art project and the development of a resident B.L.O.C (Building Leaders and Organizing Community) Association.

Love My BLOC

Asylum Hill Pollinator Gardens

Project:Tactical urbanism project

Project Leads: Lynn Johnson & David MacDonald, Asylum Hill NRZ

Grant:$1,000

Leveraged:$3,700 in donations and matching funds

Summary:The Asylum Hill Pollinator Gardens is a tactical urbanism project that will install six small pollinator gardens across Asylum Hill. The locations include ICC, AHCC, Grace Lutheran, Trinity, Youth Challenge CT, and St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The objective of this project is to support pollinators, beautify the neighborhood, increase neighborhood pride, and support community vegetable gardens. The target audience for this project are residents and gardeners, and the pollinators, of course!

_DSC2064-the-group.jpg

CBAC Revealing Gem

Project:Beautification and Safety Improvement

Project Leads: Janine McMahon & Caroline Austin, Asylum Hill Family Center

Grant:$1,000

Summary:CBAC Revealing Gem is a beautification project focused on improving the accessibility and family-friendly nature of the space at 896 Asylum Avenue. Project Leads will work with volunteers to install planters provided by KNOX and placing two benches decorated by children at the front of the building. The project has gained support from the NRZ, the Hartford Family Center Network, and families in the area.

CBAC Revealing Gem Project

The Farmington Avenue Mural Project

Project:Beautification

Project Leads: Louisa Barton-Duguay & David MacDonald, Asylum Hill NRZ

Grant:$1,000

Leveraged Funds: $1,470 in donations

Summary:The Farmington Avenue Mural Project is a beautification project that will create a large-scale mural on the side of building located at 294 Farmington Avenue. The goal of this project is to beautify a highly visible and trafficked area and to increase neighborhood pride.

Farmington Ave. Mural

The Broad Street Art Garden

Project:Tactical urbanism, beautification, and environmental

Project Title: The Broad Street Art Garden

Project Leads: Logan Singerman & Delene Falcon, Frog Hollow SAFE

Grant:$1,000

Leveraged Funds: $4,292 in donations and matching funds

Summary:The Broad Street Art Garden is a tactical urbanism, beautification, and environmental safety project that aims to convert an “L”-shaped vacant lot at 1064 Broad Street into a green space featuring an art garden, a community garden, and an open play space. The target audience for this project are families and kids in the neighborhood, and all residents in the surrounding area. Overall, the project aims to decrease illegal dumping, decrease crime in the area, improve access to fresh produce, increase the physical activity opportunities for children, and strengthen neighborhood pride. The Project Leads are working with the Raftery, Keney Park Sustainability Project, and residents to develop and maintain this area.

 


The Affleck Street Community Garden

Project:Tactical urbanism

Project Title: The Affleck Street Community Garden

Project Leads: Graciela Rivera & Carey Shea, Affleck Street Community Garden

Grant:$962.81

Summary:The Affleck Street Community Garden is a tactical urbanism project focused on enhancing the existing community garden located at 158 Affleck Street in a range of ways. The project will increase the number of raised beds, rehabilitate deteriorated garden beds, purchase tools for gardening, plant pollinator attracting perennials, and introduce artwork into the space. The goals of this project are to make the space more accessible to seniors and residents with different mobilities, increase neighborhood pride, promote gardening, decrease rubbish, and foster long-lasting community engagement. The Garden will work with KNOX to facilitate the project as well as the Hartford Public Library and the Hispanic Health Council. The team is in the process of partnering with Foodshare so that they can grow and donate produce to their community garden food growing initiative!

The Affleck Street Community Garden

Outdoor Seating on Capitol

Project:Tactical urbanism and placemaking

Project Leads: Sarah McCoy and Chantell Boissiere-Kelly, Story & Soil Coffee and Hartford Ice Cream

Grant:$1,000

Funds Leveraged: $5,725 in donations and matching funds

Summary:Outdoor Seating on Capitol is a tactical urbanism project that aims to provide socially distant seating for the patrons of eight local businesses along the southside of Capitol Avenue. The target audience of this project is small groups who have made the block a destination or those who live in the neighborhood and wish to gather safely. The goal of this project is to increase neighborhood visibility, support local businesses and enhance block beautification and unification.

Outdoor Seating on Capitol

Zion Hill Gateway Project

Project:Tactical urbanism, beautification and environmental safety

Project Leads: Carey Shea & Susan Jaafar, Friends of Zion Hill Cemetery

Grant:$1,000

Funds Leveraged: $3,001 in donations and matching funds

Summary:The Zion Hill Gateway Project is a tactical urbanism, beautification and environmental safety project that will focus on enhancing and increasing the accessibility of the Zion Hill Cemetery entrance at the corner of Ward and Zion. The project will begin with a volunteer led-clean up and walking tour in partnership with SINA, followed by a walk/bike audit in mid-July with Transport Hartford. Volunteers will also help prepare planting beds and plant perennials and low groundcovers in the beds near the entrance. Come fall, volunteers will work with DPW and the City Forester to install shade trees and benches.

Zion Hill Gateway Project

Beautify Barry Square

Project:Beautification

Project Leads: Chairperson Hyacinth Yennie & Bill Ericson, MARG

Grant:$1,000

Summary:Beauty Barry Square is a beautification project designed to bring life and color to the Barry Square Triangle and the surrounding area through flowers. The focus of this project is at The Triangle near the Church, post office, and gas station. This project will place large flowerpots with a variety of plants and flowers provided by KNOX throughout the neighborhood and at the highlighted intersection.

Beautify Barry Square

Community Roots of Love

Project Leads: Edna Velazquez & Pedro Pimienta, El Centro Family Center – Catholic Charities

Grant:$1,000 (made possible by HFPG)

Summary:Community Roots of Love is a beautification, tactical urbanism, and environmental safety project that seeks to create a safe and welcoming area for all families to make connections throughout the South Green neighborhood. The project will kick-off with a community clean-up of both Cedar Street and Wadsworth street. Located at 45 Wadsworth street, this project will be composed of planters for vegetables and flowers, a walking path created by decorative rocks, and a seating area outfitted with picnic tables to be used in the spring, summer, and fall. The target audience for this project are the families, elderly and children living in the area

Community Roots of Love

Read & Feed

Project:Tactical urbanism

Project Leads:Zoe Chatfield & Rich Hollant, FREE CENTER

Grant:$1,000

Leveraged Funding: $4,265

Summary: Read & Feed is a tactical urbanism project focused on engaging with neighborhood residents to connect more and instill pride. Located at 460 New Britain Ave (former location of the Goodwin Library, current location of the Free Center), the Project Leads will install two newspaper boxes, one will be an ode to the location’s former purpose, a small lending library, and the other a free pantry. The newspaper boxes will be decorated by a local artist and will be accessible to the general public. The Free Center will host a ‘Read’ drive and a ‘Feed’ drive to support filling both boxes with items for the community.

Read & Feed at Free Center

Sheldon Oak Transformation: Project Porter

Project:Beautification

Project Leads: Elsa Koulla & Christina Smith, Southside Parent Leader Group

Grant:$400

Summary:The Sheldon Oak Transformation: Project Porter is a beautification project that seeks to beautify an existing parkette, Porter Park, at the corner of Groton and Wyllys Street. The goal of this project is to increase neighborhood pride and to create a safe place for children and families to spend time together by engaging residents through a community clean-up, adding trash and recycling bins, and beautifying benches. The target audience for this project are families and their children who live in the neighborhood.

Sheldon Oak Transformation: Project Porter

SWBTR Beautification Project

Project:Beautification

Project Leads: Chairperson Kathy Evans & Joyce Bosco, SWBTR NRZ

Grant:$1,000

Summary:The SWBTR Beautification Project is a beautification project at the corner of Flatbush & Brookfield and the South Park River walking trail. It intends to install several planters provided by KNOX with several varieties of flowers in the project area. The project will kick-off with an annual clean-up led by the NRZ along the South Park River walkway and intersection. The target audience for this project are residents and community members who also shop in the area.
SWBTR Beautification Project

5. 2021 LYB Projects

2021 Projects

In Year Three, Love Your Block Hartford with funding from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving will fund sixteen community revitalization projects across the City of Hartford. Learn more about each project below and how you can get involved.

Signs of Community (Read and Feed)

Project Leads: Zoe Chatfield & Richard Hollant

Grant:$2,500

Summary:“Signs of Community” will allow the residents of Hartford to know thatFree Centeris no longer the ‘Goodwin Memorial Library Branch’ on 460 New Britain Avenue. Last year, the Love Your Block funding was used to install two refurbished newspaper boxes, “Read and Feed Centers”. The importance of signage; signage will make this resource more noticeable, will encourage the community to utilize the center and be clearly identifiable for the youth programming that will be available between July and August.


Hartford Intersection of Hope Garden

Project Leads: Dr. Celeste Ashe Johnson & Adriena Baldwin

Grant: $2,500

Summary: “Hartford’s Intersection of Hope Garden” (“Where flowers bloom, so does hope”) on 136 Westland Street will be a community mural and flower garden. The mural will send a powerful message to the community as well as highlight the burden and agony of families who have lost their children to intercommunity violence. The garden is designed to bring the community together alongside the mural as a sign of hope. The main goals for the Hartford Intersection of Hope Garden are to transform, encourage, create, and promote togetherness.

Garden Lead Coordinator
 

 


Gold Not Garbage! Compost Now! (AHNA Composting Project)

Project Leads: Barbara Robbins & Lynn Johnson

Neighborhood/Address: Asylum Hill; Knox Community Garden on Niles Street

Grant:$2,000

Summary: “Gold Not Garbage! Compost Now!” is a composting project that will reduce waste in the city and recapture needed nutrients which will be returned to depleted soil and enrich it on Niles Street at the Knox Community Garden. By separating food scraps at the source of trash initiation, we will be able to reduce and enrich the soil, lower the costs needed to ship waste out of the State and educate the Hartford Community about composting.

AHNA Composting Project Results

Gathering Space on Capitol Avenue

Project Leads: Sarah McCoy & Chantell Boissiere-Kelly

Neighborhood/Address: Frog Hollow; 387 Capitol Avenue

Grant:$2,500

Summary: “Gathering Space on Capitol Avenue” is a continuation of a previous project, adding planters to the Capitol Avenue block between Babcock Street and Lawrence Street on 387 Capitol Avenue. Furthermore, placing jersey barriers around parking spots will create space for outdoor seating; including outdoor seating with the beautiful street art and umbrellas for shade, will encourage residents and walking traffic to engage and utilize the space.

Gathering Space on Capital Ave

Love My B.L.O.C (Building Leaders and Organizing Community

Project Leads: Kelvin X. LoveJoy & Reneesha Baugh

Neighborhood/Address: Upper Albany; Barbour, Judson, Nelson, and Martin Street

Grant: $2,500

Summary: “Love My B.L.O.C (Building Leaders and Organizing Community)” promotes and empowers resident to keep their community clean on various streets in the Upper Albany neighborhood. The Blue Hills Civic Association (BHCA) describes the project as “empowering residents to beautify and clean up their community through community engagement”. The goals of this project are to engage residents living on the streets of Barbour, Judson, Nelson and Martin Street through community cleanups, development, and increasing safety.

Building Leaders and Organizing Community

Clean It Up, Keep It Up (CARA Cares)

Project Leads:Denyse Bailey & Bea Powell

Neighborhood/Address:Clay Arsenal; 65 Pliny Street (Corner of Pliny Street and Brook Street)

Grant:$1,262.31

Summary: “Clean It Up, Keep It Up” is a continuation project from last year’s efforts to beautify and upkeep the site, including solar lighting, a walking path, signage and more rose bushes and Japanese Maples on the corner of Pliny Street and Brook Street.


Korean Monument Tree Planting

Project Leads: David McKinley and Joan Gallagher

Neighborhood/Address: Broadview Terrace Southwest Behind The Rocks; New Britain Avenue and corner of Chandler Street

Grant: $500

Summary: The Korean Monument has been upkept by residents of Broadview Terrace for about 10 years. Korean Monument Volunteers have planted rose bushes, flowers and maintained the landscape in various ways. However, to continue to keep the space as imagined, one of the cherry trees must be replaced in collaboration with Knox on New Britain Avenue and the corner of Chandler Street.

Korean Monument Project Photo 2

Marcus Garvey Beautification Project (Hartford Health Initiative)

Project Leads: Chavon Hamilton-Burgess & Sophia Gray

Neighborhood/Address:Northeast; Marcus Garvey Place

Grant: $1,550

Summary: The beautification of Marcus Garvey Place, a mini park in honor of the national hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey, on the corner of Granby and Cornwall, will provide a space where the community members can socialize and gather, be a centerpiece for the Blue Hills Community and empower residents.

Resident volunteers at Marcus Garvey Park

Median Beautification Project (6thDTC)

Project Leads: Kelly Bilodeau & Jackie Nadal

Neighborhood/Address: Southwest Behind The Rocks; Corner of New Britain Avenue and White Street

Grant: $1,515.48

Summary: The “Median Beautification Project” will take place at the bend (median) of New Britain Avenue and White Street to make it a beautiful focal point with flowering bushes, graffiti removal and painted signal boxes. In the area, there will be a sign with a reminder to keep Hartford litter free; with the goal to have a place where the people in the surrounding area can appreciate, enjoy and value the space.


Art Garden Classroom

Project Leads:Delene Falcon & Logan Singerman

Neighborhood/Address:Frog Hollow; 1072 Broad Street

Grant: $2,500

Summary: The “Art Garden Classroom” on 1072 Broad Street will be created for children and families to serve as a classroom and space for gardeners to store their tools. In collaboration with Pedro Bermudez (a master carpenter). The space can be used for community members to learn how to garden, nutrition, taking care of the environment, cooking demonstrations and more.

Three Kings Day.JPG

Native Flower Meadow at Huntington St Community Garden

Project Leads:Louisa Barton-Duguay & Akeva Koulla

Neighborhood/Address:Asylum Hill/Huntington Street

Grant: $2500

Summary: The Native Flower Meadow at Huntington St Community Garden  in Asylum Hill, will be an area of native, drought-resistant, self-propagating, pollinator friendly flowers and herbs that the community can enjoy and assist with by participating on planting day.


Discovering The Unexpected in Frog Hollow (Garbage Bouquets)

Project Leads: Marcus Ordonez & Rhodee Gine

Neighborhood/Address: Frog Hollow; Park Street

Grant: $2,300

Summary: Discovering The Unexpected in Frog Hollow is a beautification project and clean up event on Park Street that will run in conjunction with the opening of the new Hartford Public Library location on Park Street. By adding planters, floral arrangements and hosting a clean up, there will be an area will sparkle for new visitors coming to Park Street and strengthen neighborhood pride.

Discovering The Unexpected in Frog Hollow (Garbage Bouquets).jpg

Stairway to Wellness

Project Leads: Jessica Goldman & Anne Gogh

Neighborhood/Address: Parkville; 1477 Park Street

Grant: $2,358.04

Summary: Stairway to Wellness, on 1477 Park Street, is an effort to ensure that the community is aware of the importance of health, wellbeing, community, and support. With the Fasttrack stop on the other side of the Parkville Bridge, the stairs are a common area and with this project there will be a decrease in litter, an increase sense of neighborhood pride and community, will bring awareness to Toivo and create a community space where residents and feel safe and be aware of community services.

Stairway to Wellness with artist Anne Gogh

Farmington & Whitney Street Mural Project

Project Leads: Sarah Martz & Kathryn Olesnevich

Neighborhood/Address: West End; CVS building: 566 Farmington Ave

Grant: $2,500

Summary: The Farmington & Whitney Street Mural project, on 566 Farmington Avenue, will showcase the talents of Deka Henry, a local artist and West End resident, all while capturing some of Hartford’s most iconic spots. This mural will celebrate each of Hartford’s neighborhoods, bring color to the neighborhood and can participate in the creation of the mural making process.

The Hartford Postcard Mural Project

SWBTR Traffic Calming Beautification Project

Project Leads: Kathy Evans & Joyce Bosco

Neighborhood/Address: Southwest & Behind the Rocks; New Britain Avenue.; Chandler, Harvard and a section of White Street

Grant: $,2500

Summary: The SWBTR Traffic Calming Beautification Project on New Britain Avenue.; Chandler, Harvard and a section of White Street, strives to ensure that community neighbors, pedestrians and visitors have an aesthetically pleasing environment. The flowerpots will be used to beautify the traffic calming measures with the participation of NRZ community members.



6. 2022 LYB Projects

You can also view the 2022 projects in a Storymap by Clicking Here

2022 Resident Grants

Organization: New Mount Moriah Baptist Church

Project Lead: Hugh Brooks & Diane Mathis

Project Name: Look Up To A Brighter Future

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: A project designed to display the hope, pride, and faith that residents have for their community. There will be a mural painted alongside two crosswalks that will serve as a visual representation to the community and those who interact with it, that the future is indeed bright and they should have hope, pride and faith in their community. The newly installed colorful trash bins will be an active piece allowing residents to do their part in keeping the community clean. Lastly, the new flowers planted will add to the beautification of the community and serve as a symbol that the community continues to grow year after year.

Mount Moriah LYB Project Street Mural

Organization: Southwest and Behind the Rocks NRZ

Project Lead: Kathy Evans & Elizabeth O’Leary

Project Name: Southwest and Behind the Rocks Beautification

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: A continuation of efforts to beautify the neighborhood, ten large planters will be placed in front of cement barriers that are being used for traffic calming of two side streets. As this area encounters lots of traffic, the Southwest and Behind the Rocks NRZ hopes to bring some calmness to the busy site with the addition of natural scenery.

Project Lead: Val Bryan & Cassandra lonno

Project Name: WestEnd Curbside Gardens

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: West End residents will bring more natural scenery to the community by planting fifteen gardens along the curb. These planters will also attract pollinators, butterflies, and birds to bring more sustainability of other plants in the communities. The goal is to prolong preservation of the environment within the community starting in the West End.

Organization: Colt Park Foundation

Project Lead: Donna Swarr & Pedro Mercado

Project Name: Colt Park Beautification

Awarded Amount: $2,500

Summary: The Colt Park Beautification project will install planters at the park entrance and add art pieces around the park to add to the scenery. The planters will be an added welcome to park visitors of all ages as they gather and use the beautiful space.

Organization: Friends of Zion Hill Cemetery

Project Lead: Carey Shea & Susan Jaafar

Project Name: Zion Hill Cemetery Arboretum and Herb Garden

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project will include planting new trees to replace fallen ones and will provide fresh, healthy food items to community members. This project will engage community members to get involved in painting sings in English and Spanish to encourage people to pick from the garden and eat locally.

Zion Hill After.png

Organization: Urban Hope Refuge

Project Lead: Celeste Ashe Johnson & Octavia Velazquez

Project Name :Hartford’s Intersection of Hope Garden & Mural

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: Urban Hope Refuge looks to move on to Phase II of this project and finish the community garden and mural. Through the project, Hartford Intersection of Hope Garden & Mural. The mural and garden will be a place where community unity and healing take place. This project will get community partners involved by providing resources to the community for those who have been affected by gun violence. Urban Hope Refuge is looking to get the community involved by having them part of the planting process of the flowers. Urban hope believes where there is growth there is hope.

Organization: MARG NRZ

Project Lead: Hyacinth Yennie

Project Name: Beautify Maple Ave

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The project Beautify Maple Ave is looking to beautify Maple ave by bringing more life and color to the community. Through the project, MARG NRZ will put string lights on some of the light poles and add more flower planters. As residents go for a walk or drive down Maple Ave, they will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery on Maple Ave.

Organization: Pollinator Project Asylum Hill

Project Lead: Louisa Barton-Duguay & Akeva Koulla

Project Name: Pollinator Project Asylum Hill

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The Pollinator Project looks to educate the community on the importance of having pollinators in our community. Through this project the Pollinator project is looking to add more plants and scrubs to the community garden. The garden is in an area that experiences high amounts of traffic, so through the explanation of this project it would give them more of an opportunity to get the community involved and educated on how to protect the environment.

Organization: Parkville Care Center Residents

Project Lead: Angela Perry & Katie Jeans

Project Name: Greenwood Street & Grace Street intersection

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The Parkville Care Center Residents through the project Greenwood Street & Grace Street looks to beautify the neighborhood by installing cultural flags and painting a mural. This initiative looks to beautify the street to benefit the residents that reside in the nursing on that street. As residents walk down the street with their family they will be able to see the vast amount of culture that is represented in our city.

2022 Community Grants

Organization: Bulkeley High School

Project Lead: Monique Frasier

Project: Bulkeley Fresh Start

Amount Awarded: $9,795

Summary: Bulkeley High School through the project Bulkeley Fresh Start will create a community garden that will provide fresh fruits and vegetables. This project will benefit the community where the garden will reside and allow students to learn and participate in developing our community. Community members will help in the sustainability of the garden.

Organization: Charter Oak Temple Association, Inc

Project Lead: Rabbi Donna Berman

Project: Eats on the Street

Amount Awarded: $14,625

Summary: Charter Oak Temple Association, Inc through the project, Eats on the Street program, will place large pots of organic vegetable plants throughout the city of Hartford. Local artists will paint the pots. The vegetables will be available for free to anyone in need, addressing hunger in our city. Eats of the Street looks to bring food, jobs, and art to Hartford. This program seeks to ameliorate various struggles encountered by multiple community members. It provides members of the homeless community with a job, pay, and food and allows local artists to showcase their work.

Organization: Free Center

Project Lead: Richard Hollant

Project: Love Your Earth: Connecting with Hartford Green Space

Amount Awarded: $8,500

Summary: Free Center through the project, Love Your Earth: Connecting with Hartford Green Space, will expand greening and beautification on the corner of New Britain Avenue and establish new ways to engage residents by creating the South Hartford Nature Trail. They are looking to host community events throughout the month of May to October that will include an art and garden/greening. With the project, they would like to build four more raised garden beds and an edible landscape: around their building. They will also create a map that will show the names of the places and include opportunities to learn about various native plants. The Free Center hopes this will prevent individuals from littering by celebrating our natural spaces.

Organization: Hartford Health Initiative, Inc.

Project: Marcus Garvey Project

Amount Awarded: $19,374

Summary: Hartford Health Initiative, Inc, through the Marcus Garvey Park Project, will be in partnership with the City of Hartford Parks and Recreation department to complete the beautification of Marcus Garvey Park in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Hartford. For this project, they propose further park enhancement, replacing a bench, adding solar lamp post lighting along the walking path, and a new trash receptacle that supports the separation of general waste and recyclables. Due to limited visibility, the project also looks to replace the current "Marcus Garvey Place Park" sign. Lastly, their team will host a celebration at the park in honor of Marcus Garvey's birthday in August for the community, including entertainment, food, and fun for the whole family.

Marcus Garvey Park After  

Organization: Hartford Public Schools

Project Lead: Lauren Stillacci

Project: Carrie Saxon Perry Mural and S.A.N.D. School

Amount Awarded: $21,890

Summary: Hartford Public Schools through the project, Carrie Saxon Perry Mural and S.A.N.D. School, will paint a mural on the outside of SAND school to commemorate Carrie Saxon Perry, the first African American female mayor of not only Hartford but of any major New England city. The mural will be visible from Main Street, one of the main arteries of the community. Over the summer of 2022, Hartford-based artist and SAND alum Ellis Echevarria and another local artist, Andre Rochester, will design two murals featuring Carrie Saxon Perry. The unveiling of the mural will take place at the end of the summer or the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year as a dedication to the former mayor and the efforts of the artists, students, and staff involved.

Organization: Knox Inc

Project Lead: Patrick Doyle & Lindsay White

Project: Community Garden Beautification Project

Amount Awarded: $24,580

Summary: Knox Inc through the project, Community Garden Beautification Project will engage at least 50 Hartford residents and gardeners in cleaning, greening, and beautifying Cabot, Enfield, and Good Shepherd community gardens. Knox will reach out to residents for input on improvements they want to see in the gardens, such as upgraded water systems, pathways, plantings, and benches. Just 33 out of a potential 62 gardeners used these gardens last year, and K.N.O.X. anticipates reengaging these gardeners and reaching an additional 15 gardeners through these efforts. K.N.O.X. aims to provide residents with access to green space, healthy outdoor activity, fresh food, and community building spaces to connect.

Organization: Mount Bethel Church of God E.H.T., Inc

Project Lead: Teresa Nujihan Johnson

Project:236 Resuscitation Project

Amount Awarded: $10,000

Summary: Mount Bethel Church of God E.H.T., Inc, through the 236 Resuscitation Project, will do a couple of things to improve the exterior of its building. Once the project is completed, they will be able to start our Community, Family, and Friends events again.

Mount Bethel Church believes that with God a village that is safe and united can be created, and that a united village can never be separated. The community events will be a great way to engage members of the community and show a sense of unity and trust.

Organization: Mutual Housing Association of Greater Hartford, Inc

Project Lead: Catherine T. MacKinnon

Project: Zion Street Mural

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Summary: The Mutual Housing Association of Greater Hartford, Inc is going yo love on the block through the project, Zion Street Mural. This project will be a mural that will be placed on Zion Street. The purpose of this mural is to beautify the neighborhood for the residents and those who are passing through. Currently where the mural will sit there are overgrown bushes. After this project the hope is that community members will see the commitment that we have for Loving our block.

Organization: Real Art Ways, Inc

Project Lead: Will K. Wilkins & Tina Parziale

Project: Park Art Food Garden

Amount Awarded: $9,000

Summary: The Real Art Ways Inc through the Park Art food Garden project is seeking to love on our block through the project, Park Art food garden. This product will update the community garden with new amenities. This will be a great way for people in the community to get free healthy locally grown produce. The project will add to the beatification of the garden and community.

Organization: Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, Inc

Project Lead: Melvyn Colon

Project: Nuestra Historia

Amount Awarded: $19,500

Summary: Recognizing the depths of history and beauty in the community, Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance Inc began the Nuestra Historia project last year and

honored nine neighborhood heroes in three murals. Over 500 people voted, and nearly 100 people attended the mural celebration event at the library. Through this grant, the Nuestra Historia project will have the ability to tell more stories that need to be said and recognize more heroes in the community. This project will take input from the district. Like the mural painted last year on Wolcott Street, the installation will highlight community strengths to recognize the beauty in the neighborhood that goes beyond the heroes and allow the wider community to be represented in the artwork. The mural will be located at 286-288 Park Street, very visible walking or driving west. Other events engage residents with neighborhood history and culture. Coming out of a time marked by such pronounced social isolation, this project will facilitate meaningful community connections. We plan to have a large celebration at the end of the painting process, which celebrates the mural's completion, honors the heroes, and launches the digital neighborhood history walking tour.

Organization: iQuilt Partnership 

Project Lead: Jackie Mandyck

Project: Capitol Avenue Creative Placemaking

Amount: $22,750

Summary: The Capitol Avenue Creative Placemaking project will involve adding more flowers and large planters to Capitol Ave as well as the development of businesses on Capitol Ave. The community hopes this project will highlight the identity and growing community in Frog Hollow. At the end of this project iQuilt and Frog hollow will join together to celebrate their progress.

Organization: Keney Park Sustainability Project, Inc 

Project Lead: Victoria Jean Virgo- Christie 

Project: Vacant Lot Conversion

Amount: $25,000

Summary: Kenny Park Sustainability Project, Inc will take vacant lots and transform them into community gardens. The hope of this project is to develop a network of farmers of color. Keney Park Sustainability Project, Inc wants to continue to develop these types of projects in order to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the community but also to grow the Hartford Urban Agriculture Network.  

7. 2023 LYB Projects

2023 Resident Grants

Project Name: 6th District

Project Lead: Kelly Bilodeau

Project Co-Lead: Jackie Nadal

Neighborhood: Southwest and Behind the Rocks

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The 6th District is collaborating with the Southwest/Behind the Rocks NRZ project to enhance the appearance of the busy intersections at Stone Street/New Britain Avenue and Brookfield Street/Flatbush Avenue. As a part of this beautification initiative, they plan to acquire and position 10 Knox Planters on the medians. While the Southwest/Behind the Rocks NRZ project will handle the median painting, the 6th District will take care of the planters. Their aim is to create a visually pleasing environment for residents, pedestrians, and motorists who frequent these areas.

 

Project Name: Art on Farmington

Project Lead:  David MacDonald

Project Co-lead: Jackie McKinney

Neighborhood: Asylum Hill

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The project aims to beautify Farmington Avenue and increase pride in Asylum Hill by constructing 4 triangular kiosks displaying the work of 8 Asylum Hill artists. The kiosks will include 3 panels describing the artists, their work, and sponsors of the art display. The target audience is public foot traffic along Farmington Avenue and suburban commuters. The project is working with 224 EcoSpace and Immanuel Congregational Church to identify locations for the art displays, with a goal of finding 4 locations to display one kiosk each.

 Triangular-Art-Kiosk.png

Project Name: Asylum Hill Boys & Girls Club Beautification

Project Lead: Anthony Daddona

Project Co-lead: Joe Bumpers

NeighborhoodAsylum Hill

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The purpose of this project is to beautify the front garden bed of the Asylum Hill Boys & Girls Club. This location serves over 250 youth daily and is a school pick-up and drop-off location for many neighborhoods youth. The project would bring joy to club members, guardians, and community members. The Boys & Girls Club aims to provide transformational experiences in academic success, life-readiness, and workforce development to enable all young people to reach their full potential.

 LoveYourBlock2.jpg

Project Name: Barry Square Community Clean-up

Project Lead: Hyacinth Yennie

Project Co-lead: Victor Blanco

NeighborhoodMaple Ave/Barry Square

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project will maintain the existing planters in Barry Square and aims to beautify and clean up the neighborhood. Decorative lights will be replaced on Maple Avenue to enhance the look of the street. Volunteers will be recruited for the street clean up by phone, the newspaper, announcements at the NRZ meetings, and by word of mouth.

Maple Ave - Barry Square  

Project Name: Beautification of North Hartford Senior Center

Project Lead: M.O.U.T.H. BLOCK WATCHERS

Project Co-lead: Blue Hills Civic Association

NeighborhoodBlue Hills/Northeast

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project intends to improve the curb appeal and landscape of the flower garden located at the entrance of the Senior Center by cleaning, weeding, and sprucing up. The ultimate goal is to create an attractive entryway to the senior center and encourage community engagement.

 

Project Name: Beautification of Sigourney Square Park

Project Lead: David MacDonald

Project Co-lead: Janine McMahon

NeighborhoodAsylum Hill

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project’s goal is to enhance the quality of the neighborhood park by making it more appealing, safe, and family-friendly for the children and families in Asylum Hill. It details the implementation of colorful signs that promote litter disposal, park care, and its history, which will be painted by children at the local Boys & Girls Club. The playscape will be painted to cover and remove graffiti, and new flower beds will be created along the pathways and additional flowers will be planted. The basketball court will be painted with colorful sections to add vibrancy. The old Lydia Sigourney banners will be replaced with new ones, and photo essay artwork banners will be placed along the fencing. Additionally, a banner containing a QR code will be installed to provide contact information about joining the Friends of Sigourney Square Park and information about park events. The project's intended audience is families and children residing in the Asylum Hill neighborhood.

 SSP-BBallcourt-1.jpg

Project Name: Black Girls LEAD Community Clean Up

Project Lead: Taniqua Huguley

Project Co-lead: Neema Kimondo

NeighborhoodNortheast

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The project aims to organize a youth-led community cleanup in the Northeast neighborhood, particularly in the Unity Plaza and surrounding blocks. The objectives of the project are to reduce garbage and food waste, increase awareness of ecosystem health and maintenance, and encourage community involvement within the space. The project hopes to gather residents, surrounding churches, Hartford Public Library staff, and business owners to clean up the area and increase community involvement in reducing garbage and food waste in the future. The goal is to clean the Unity Plaza area and the corner of Barbour St. and Kensington St to the corner of Barbour St. and Westland St. 

 
IMG_7803.jpegIMG_7594.jpeg
 

Project Name: Frog Hollow and Southwest Bench Builds

Project Lead: Kerri Anna Provost

Project Co-lead: Dimitrus Koutoumbas

NeighborhoodFrog Hollow, Southwest and Behind the Rocks

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The project aims to provide a place to sit in high-ridership bus stops and other community facilities in Frog Hollow and Southwest neighborhoods. Lack of seating in the public realm harms older folks and individuals with disabilities. The goal is to build and place 18 benches to improve people's experience outdoors and promote active transportation. The target audience includes block residents and public foot traffic who walk, bike, and take the bus.

 

Project Name:  Intersection beautification

Project Lead: Kathy Evans

Project Co-lead: Elizabeth O'Leary

NeighborhoodSouthwest and Behind the Rocks

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The goal of this project is to improve the aesthetics and reduce maintenance of two asphalt intersections through artistic designs. It has received approval from the NRZ Board of Directors and will be carried out in collaboration with the 6th District and Democratic Town Committee. The project will cover two and a half intersections, enhancing their visual appeal and contributing to the overall beautification of the area.

 Flatbush-intersection-040323.jpg

Project Name:  Lighten Literacy

Project Lead: Alicia B Parrilla

Project Co-lead: Reasha Miles

NeighborhoodSouthwest and Behind the Rocks

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project will build little library houses on the corner of Nepaug Street and other surrounding streets. Residents of this area will have the opportunity to donate gently used books and be able to take some home with them

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Project Name: Love conquers Everything

Project Lead: Susan Sarmiento

Project Co-lead: Wesley Santiago

NeighborhoodFrog Hollow

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: The project aims to continue the work of a family-donated garden by adding a serenity garden with wildflowers and wooden chairs, maintaining the existing flower beds and vegetable garden donated to the community, and buying dirt and materials for upkeep. The project also involves working with other community members to keep the area clean as it is a location with high foot traffic.

   

Project Name:  Love Your Block Sticking together

Project Lead: Solmary Cruz

Project Co-lead: Randell Jones

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project aims to enhance the 1441 Main St and Albany Ave location by cleaning the park, maintaining the grass, and adding decorative elements. The park will be adorned with mini flower pots along the walkways and borders, as well as larger flower pots at strategic entrances. A heart-shaped flower design will be created on the grass, and plant beds will be established for mixed vegetable cultivation. Additionally, benches will be installed to provide seating areas within the park. 

 Love Your Block Sticking Together

Project Name: North End Little Pantries

Project Lead: Joanna Iovino

Project Co-lead: Timothy Fraylon

NeighborhoodClay Arsenal, Northeast, Upper Albany

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project aims to enhance the North End Little Pantries by adding a mural created by local BIPOC artists and repairing any broken structures. Their goal is to reduce littering, discourage vandalism, increase visibility and usage of the pantries, and foster a sense of neighborhood pride. 

 Little-Pantries.png

Project Name: Pliny & Brook Oasis

Project Lead: Gloria Jenkins

Project Co-lead: Latoya Brown

NeighborhoodClay Arsenal

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project aims to beautify the vacant lot through the addition of flowers, trees, and trash cans, creating an area of pride.. The goal is to cultivate a welcoming environment where residents can enjoy and appreciate their surroundings. The project also includes growing herbs and vegetables, which aligns with the cause of providing food to the community. The success of the project will be measured by monitoring usage. 

 

Project Name:  Wolcott Family Park

Project Lead: Taquisha Ramos Huff

Project Co-lead: Logan Singerman

Neighborhood: Frog Hollow

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project aims to create a pollinator garden and improve a park/community center located on Wolcott Street. The main objective is to highlight the importance of pollinators for our food supply and address their increasing endangerment. The project includes the installation of sale shades, benches made from tires and wood, a swing set, a little library, landscaping, and other ideas suggested by residents. A budget of $400 has been allocated for additional creative elements. The primary beneficiaries and volunteers for the project are the families living around Wolcott Street. Community engagement is a crucial aspect, and input from approximately 10 nearby families has already been obtained. Ongoing involvement of these families through clean-ups, volunteer projects, and fun activities will be encouraged even after the completion of the project to activate the park further.

 Wolcott-Park-Before.jpg

2023 Community Grants

Organization:  Colt Park Foundation

Project Name: Beautification and Family Fun in Colt Park

Neighborhood: Sheldon Charter Oak

Amount Awarded: $3,405.00

Summary: This project aims to create a partnership between the Knox Green team and local residents to enhance the beauty of Colt Park. The plan includes installing new planters at four park entrances, painting the sidewalk, incorporating student artwork games, and adding colorful flowers to enhance the overall appeal of the park.

 

Organization: Friends of Zion Hill Cemetery

Project Name: Hop In!! - Promoting and Greening Our Walkable Frog Hollow

Neighborhood: Frog Hollow

Amount Awarded: $2,500

Summary: This project involves collaborating with the Frog Hollow NRZ to develop a campaign and deliver reports during NRZ meetings, with active participation from resident volunteers. Additionally, the project aims to create a walking tour guide for Frog Hollow and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the walking route.
 

Organization: Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Inc.

Project Name: Love your Block: Harriet and Sam’s Backyard: Creating a Unified, Inclusive, and Interpreted Urban Greenspace in Hartford’s Historic Nook Farm Neighborhood

Neighborhood: Asylum Hill 

Amount Awarded: $24,390.00

Summary: This project aims to establish a shared community space connecting the Mark Twain House and the Stowe Center. It involves the creation of two gardens, a sensory garden and a pollinator garden, as well as the installation of a little library and pantry.
 

Organization: Keney Park Sustainability Project, Inc.

Project Name: Vacant Lot Conversion Project

Neighborhood: Barry Square, Clay Arsenal, Northeast, Upper Albany

Amount Awarded: $20,000.00

Summary: This project aims to connect residents and farmers to continue the initiative of converting 10 empty lots into farms across Hartford, spanning a period of three years.
 

Organization: Friends of Heaven Skatepark (KNOX, Inc. fiscal sponsor)

Project Name: Heaven Skatepark Renovation Project

Neighborhood: Downtown Hartford

Amount Awarded:  $23,000.00

Summary:  This project aims to collaborate with the community to enhance Heaven skatepark. It involves adding ramps, repairing cracks, and incorporating permanent art murals to improve the overall experience.

 

Organization: Lawson Chapel/Urban Hope Refuge Church

Project Name: Sacred Roots Neighborhood Farm

Neighborhood: Blue Hills, Northeast

Amount Awarded: $20,600.00

Summary:  This project aims to address food scarcity issues by creating a small-scale farm that will provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the community, ensuring access to nutritious food.

 

Organization: Real Art Ways, Inc.

Project Name: Park Art Food Garden and "Sidewalk Tattoo"

Neighborhood: Parkville 

Amount Awarded: $20,896.00

Summary: This project aims to improve George Day Park by enhancing the existing raised garden, improving walkways, and implementing new programming.
 

Organization: South Downtown NRZ

Project Name: Capitol Avenue Holiday Light Project

Neighborhood: South Downtown

Amount Awarded: $4,980.00

Summary:  This project aims to enhance the neighborhood's appearance during the winter by installing LED garlands on Capitol Avenue. The project will involve collaboration and coordination with volunteers to install and remove the lights.

 

Organization: Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, Inc.

Project Name: Art on park Street

Neighborhood: Frog Hollow

Amount Awarded: $18,000.00

Summary: This project purposes a mural installation on the blighted building at 617 Park Street to contribute to the existing murals in the neighborhood. There will be substantial involvement by the local community. The youth will decide the mural’s theme and the design will be nominated and voted on by residents. Community members will also participate in painting.

 

Organization: Southwest and Behind the Rocks NRZ

Project Name: SWBTR beautification and tree project 2023

Neighborhood: Southwest and Behind the Rocks

Amount Awarded: $25,000.00

Summary:  This project aims to collaborate with NRZ members to create a mural at Hyland Park, enhance New Britain Avenue with flags, and add trees to the area. The goal is to beautify the park and surrounding area through artistic expression and environmental improvements in partnership with the NRZ community.

 

Organization: The iQuilt Partnership

Project Name: Walking in Hartford's Winter Wonderland

Neighborhood: Clay Arsenal, Frog Hollow, Parkville, Southend, Upper Albany

Amount Awarded: $25,000.00

Summary:  This project aims to collaborate with residents and park groups to enhance the park experience during Winterfest by adding lighting decorations. The goal is to create a festive atmosphere and bring joy to the community during the winter season

 

 

9. Frequently Asked Questions

What is Love Your Block?

Love Your Block (LYB) is a program that brings together city leaders and citizens to revitalize neighborhoods one block at a time.  LYB Hartford partners with organizations, neighborhood groups, and residents.  It is a mini-grant program that supports residents who want to make a difference in their community by funding projects focused on combating litter, activating vacant lots, and strengthening neighborhood pride. Ideal locations are gateway areas with high visibility and high-impact.

History of Love Your Block

Hartford was one of ten cities chosen by Cities of Service to receive $25,000 in funding over two years (2019-2020) and two AmeriCorps VISTAs. Love Your Block Hartford's was designed to increase neighborhood pride by creating opportunities for residents to own and lead change in their community. We will achieve this by providing competitive mini-grants that support volunteer-led anti-litter projects.

Cities of Service is a former nonprofit and current research center at Johns Hopkins University that helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and citizens work together.  Cities of Service helps their coalition cities tap into citizen insights, skills, and service to identify and solve critical public problems. Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 250 cities, representing more than 73 million people across the Americas and Europe. Since 2009, over 9,000 community members across dozens of cities have revitalized more than 2,200 blocks. They have removed 5.6 million pounds of trash, created 900 art displays, cleaned 60,000 square feet of graffiti, repaired over 70,000 square feet of community space, and maintained over 730,000 square feet of public space. Visit us at citiesofservice.org or follow us on Twitter @citiesofservice.

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to meet our nation’s most pressing challenges and advance local solutions.

What is a LYB mini-grant?

 Community groups or individuals are eligible to apply for one of the following 

  • LYB Resident Grant - These are resident-led projects and funding may be for implementation of a new project, expansion of past projects, or maintenance of past projects that can be completed within the summer of 2022. Funding requests for up to $2,500 will be considered.
  • LYB Community Grant - These are projects led by and/or informed by residents, but that have a nonprofit implementation partner. Funding may be for planning, implementation, and/or maintenance of larger neighborhood projects. Funding requests for between $2,500 and $25,000 will be considered.

 

What if I need assistance filling out the application?

If you require assistance, please contact the program administrators using this email address: loveyourblock@hartford.gov. Provide your name, and that of your Co-lead, as well as 3 dates and times that you are available to meet for a consultation. 

Do I have to be a resident in order to apply?

No. However, 50% of your project volunteers must be residents of the neighborhood in which your project is taking place.

Do I have to apply with a Non-profit organization or community group?

Application with a non-profit organization or community group is required for the Community Grant of between $2,500 and $25,000 in funding.

What are some examples of gateway locations?

Gateway locations in Hartford are sites that have a high frequency of car, bus, bike, and pedestrian traffic from both residents and visitors to the city. These places can be, for example, the entrance/exit of your neighborhood, or maybe a larger intersection inside your area. Some examples in Hartford can be found here, but we strongly encourage you to suggest your own locations as well. 

How will Awardees be notified?

Using the contact information that is provided, LYB will send email notifications to Project Leads of selected proposals. Selected applicants will be invited to accept the LYB mini-grant offer, and agree to adherence of LYB requirements during project implementation.

What is the Orientation?

  • Meeting with other Awardees
  • Reviewing the project implementation area
  • Going over how to collect impacts/metrics
  • Reviewing important deadlines throughout project implementation
  • Opportunity to ask for any future assistance
  • Establish check-in dates for project implementation

What is a Final Project Report?

The Final Project Report is an electronic report of metrics and impacts to the community from the project. The specifics of the Final Project Report and what must be included will be determined with each Awardee.

 The Final Report could include:

  • a detailed account of the use of funds through the mini-grant
  • before and after photos
  • estimated bags of trash collected
  • number of volunteers involved in project implementation