Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Watch How WE Created a Woodland

WE (Westminster Elementary) posted this 1.5 minute video on youtube showing the transformation of an asphalted area into the "WE Woodlands!"  The video highlights the April 2nd tree planting event, "A Forest For Us", where dozens of volunteers came out and helped create this forest area at WE.

              (Video footage provided by Karoff Films)

Monday, May 2, 2011

LANI's 9th Annual Community Forum on May 19, 2011

Register now for the 2011 Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) 9th Annual Community Forum to learn how to revitalize your neighborhood from industry experts. The forum will be held on Thursday, May 19th, 2011, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m at the USC Davidson Conference Center, 3415 S. Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90089.  Wendy Greuel, City Controller, will start the event with a welcome address to be followed by the keynote speaker, Michael LoGrande, City's Planning Director.  

Also, Paul Racs, Director of the Office of Community Beautification (OCB), will be speaking at the event. He will discuss OCB's programs and how volunteers can be a part of the beautification effort that is occurring throughout Los Angeles.

Topics to be discussed at the forum include:
  • ALL EYES ON THE BLOCK: Putting "Neighborhood Watch" to Work
  • HOW DO I GET THERE?: Making the Multi-Modal System Work for You
  • IF YOU PLANT IT, THEY WILL COME: Native Plants that Attract Wildlife
  • TAKE OUT THE TRASH: Combating Illegal Dumping in Your Neighborhood
  • BIKE ON!: The Next Cycle of the Bicycle Revolution
  • MAKING IT WORK: Case Studies of Neighborhood Success
  • SHOW ME!: An Interactive Neighborhood Design Workshop
  • THE TOMATOES NEXT DOOR: Community Gardening in Your Neighborhood
More information to this FREE workshop is provided on the brochure.  Go to to RSVP for this event.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Groundbreaking for WAYS Fitness Park

At the intersection of McKinley Ave and 87th St., 4000 square feet of City land lay asphalted and unused near Wisdom Academy for Young Scientists (WAYS) Charter School.  Realizing that the area needed to be beautified, Wisdom Academy applied and was awarded a Community Beautification Grant in 2009 to make their vision a reality...transforming an unused plot of land into a walking trail and sitting area to serve as an outdoor classroom and a gathering place for the local community.

WAYS held a great groundbreaking event for their project, "WAYS Reading and Fitness Park," on March 30, 2011.   In attendance were Kendra Okonkwo, Founder of WAYS, Alake Watson, Principal at WAYS, Councilwoman Jan Perry, Heal the Bay organizers, WAYS students and parents, and numerous stakeholders.  Excited to be part of this transformation, WAYS students worked on the installation of murals along the walking trail.

The grant funds was used to leverage a $1.3 million state grant to Heal the Bay for the creation of a mini-park at the site.  As pictured on the left, landscape architect, Steve Cancian, designed an innovative landscaping plan that incorporated Wisdom Academy's Reading & Fitness Park.  Once completed, this will be a place for the local community to come out and enjoy. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Home Depot: Making an Impact in the CommUnity

The Home Depot is accepting applications in the Community Impact Grants Program for projects that build and improve the community. Proposals will also be accepted for projects that improve the homes of veterans, seniors and the disabled who are facing economic difficulties. 

Organizations that are registered as 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public schools and tax-exempt service agencies can apply for the grant.

Eligible projects include:
  • Repairs, refurbishments or modifications to low-income and/transitional housing or community facilities
  • Weatherizing or improving the energy efficiency of low-income and/transitional housing or community facilities
  • Tree planting, community gardens or landscaping community facilities
  • Development or improvement of parks or green spaces

Applications will only be accepted online beginning April 4, 2011 through October 31, 2011.  Priority for funding will be first given to proposals that aid veterans, seniors and the disabled.  The grant will be awarded in the form of The Home Depot gift cards that can be used for the purchase tools, supplies or services.

Questions relating to the grant project should be emailed to The Home Depot Foundation at

Friday, March 25, 2011

Council District 13 Beautification Grant

Council President Eric Garcetti of Council District 13 (CD 13) is accepting grant applications for the "Clean & Connected Communities" Program.  The program will award matching grants of up to $2500 to fund beautification projects in CD 13.

Eligible projects must be located in a public space in Council District 13 and include a beautification element to make the community cleaner, greener and safer.  

The Council Office will review and narrow the list of potential projects and the community will vote for their favorite project to be funded in their neighborhood. Three projects will be awarded in each of the eight neighborhoods of CD 13 which includes Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Historic Filipotown, Elysian Valley, East Hollywood, Glassell Park and Atwater Village. 

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13th.  Please submit your applications by email or mail to: 
Mail:  Clean and Connected CD13
          Office of L.A. City Council President
          5500 Hollywood Blvd, 4th Floor
          Los Angeles, CA  90028

Click on Clean & Connected Communities Program for more information or to obtain a copy of the application.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creating a 1000 Community Gardens and Green Spaces

To show that they are “dedicated to a beautiful world”, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company will be awarding grants of up to $1500 for community garden and green spaces projects in its GRO1000 Grassroots Grant.  GRO1000 strives to create 1000 community garden and green spaces in US, Canada and Europe by 2018, to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.

Eligible organizations are those that are recognized under Section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or have a fiscal sponsor that is nonprofit and tax-exempt.  The project must show community involvement and support.  Last date to file for the 2011 grant is Thursday, March 31, 2011. 

Click on GRO1000 Grassroots Grant for more information or to apply for the grant.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Grant Opportunity: ArtWorks Grant Program

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is accepting applications for its ArtWorks Grant Program which awards grants of $10,000 up to $100,000.  Projects must be matched 1:1 with non-federal funds.  To apply, projects must meet one of the following outcomes of Art Works:
  • Creation: The creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence,
  • Engagement: Public engagement with diverse and excellent art,
  • Learning: Lifelong learning in the arts, and
  • Livability: The strengthening of communities through the arts. 
The two deadline dates for the applications are March 10, 2011 and August 11, 2011.  Applicants should identify their project outcome and submit their application under the deadline date that is associated with the outcome for their project.  Projects with a March deadline will have one of the following outcomes: creation or engagement (projects that engages the public on/after January 1, 2012).  Projects with an August deadline will have an outcome of engagement (projects that engages the public on/after June 1, 2012), learning or livability.

If funded, NEA will require applicants to report on their project.  The reporting requirements vary for each outcome so please read the reporting requirement prior to submitting your application. 

For more information or a copy of the ArtWorks grant application, please click here.  Questions regarding the grant program can be directed to Eleanor Denegre @ or (202) 682-5509 or Carol Lanoux Lee @ or (202) 682-5020.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Revival of "The Big Blue M"

After: The Big Blue M
John Marshall High School

With $10,000 from the Community Beautification Grant, Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council (GGPNC) was able to enlist artist, Yuriko Etue, and various supporters and volunteers to create this wonderful mosaic of "The Big Blue M" that adorns a retaining wall of John Marshall High School.  As pictured above, members of GGPNC, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, and various stakeholders and supporters showed up for the dedication event on December 16, 2010, to celebrate the completion of the project.

The "M" has been an iconic symbol of Marshall HS that underwent a great transformation from a deteriorated painted "M" (as pictured below) to the mosaic "M".