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