Love Your Block - Grant Application

Description of Program

The Love Your [Resilient] Block initiative invites organizations to submit project proposals that can transform their blocks with up to $1,500 and the support of City Departments. With these grant funds, winning groups can purchase supplies, engage their neighbors, and roll up their sleeves to build resilience their neighborhood – block by block! Projects may include, but are not limited to:

1.  Creating Green Spaces:  Community gardens, pocket parks, public spaces, or vacant lot cleanups

2.   Implementing Stormwater Capture:   Rain gardens, bioswales, green bump-outs, rain barrels

3.  Enhancing Parks:  Painting structures, creating garden beds, picnic areas, shrub / flower plantings

4.  Streetscaping:  Planting trees & flowers along curbs / entry-ways, sprucing up neighborhood signs

5.  Removing Graffiti and Litter:  Tire dumping, recycling waste, swapping graffiti for murals, etc.

6.  Sprucing up of Pathways:  Mulching / clearing overgrowth on trails, creating safe school walking routes

7.   Encouraging Emergency Preparedness:  Creating emergency kits, establishing phone trees, community cohesion plans, flood protection

This City of Pittsburgh initiative was initially developed as part of servePGH, the City’s high-impact service plan to engage citizen volunteers to tackle Pittsburgh’s greatest challenges. 

Grant Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for the Love Your [Resilient] Block application process, each group must:

  • Be a qualified nonprofit organization or secure a fiscal agent that is a qualified nonprofit.
    • For the purposes of this grant, a qualified nonprofit organization is a corporation, group, or association that has a charitable and/ or public purpose without a profit motive or shareholders (5013c tax status).
    • If not a qualified non-profit organization, your group must have a letter of support from the fiscal agent, which is a qualified nonprofit organization, included in the application. The fiscal agent will receive the funds and a representative of such entity will be the signatory to the mini-grant agreement with the City of Pittsburgh.
  • Demonstrate the ability to mobilize a minimum of 20 neighborhood volunteers to take part in the revitalization of their block during a volunteer event.
  • Have at least two members who can serve as points of contact and attend a grant orientation workshop with City of Pittsburgh representatives.
  • Have a detailed and realistic action plan for engaging residents to carry out a physical transformation of the community spaces on their block.
  • Clearly identify the property on which the proposed project will take place, if city property, provide lot and block number. If private property, secure the owner’s written permission to carry out the project.
  • Submit a detailed sustainability plan outlining how your organization will sustain the project when grant funds are no longer available.
  • Provide a reasonable budget and request amount.
  • Secure any and all necessary permits and/or City approvals for project work  
  • Complete a final written report summarizing the project and its relevant measurements within 2 weeks of the event date. 
  • Include one volunteer event date in your group’s action plan between March 1 and August 31, 2017.  Also provide a rain date.  These dates must be firm.
  • Soil testing - depending on the proposed project plan, soil testing may be requried.

Selection Process

All projects meeting the above criteria will be eligible for consideration; however, we will prioritize projects that:

  • Work directly with a community group
  • Demonstrate a concrete and sustainable solution to issues affecting your neighborhood
  • Engage local residents as volunteers
  • Leverage other partnerships and/or additional donations
  • Can have a significant improvement on the reslience of a neighborhood's residents

Grant Reporting Requirements

After project completion, grantees will be asked to submit photos of the block that was revitalized, and a written report that includes the number of blocks impacted, number of lots revitalized, square feet of graffiti removed, pounds of litter collected, number of trees planted, number of green spaces or community gardens created and other qualitative data to accompany it.

Post-Grant Contest Guidelines

All selected grantee organizations that complete projects according to grant requirements are eligible to compete in a contest for the most impressive block transformation, for which the best block revitalization project will receive up to $3,000 in additional funding. In September of 2017, City staff will evaluate projects based on how well the grantee:

  • Demonstrated a solution to an identified neighborhood challenge
    • Examples:
      • The space was transformed into an enjoyable gathering place for community members
      • The project addressed community concerns and issues of neighborhood sustainability and resilience
      • An entire block was impacted
  • Engaged the community and involved neighborhood volunteers
    • Examples:
      • Many participants had meaningful participation at both the planning and implementation stages
      • Other neighborhood groups or institutions were involved
  • Exhibited resourcefulness
    • Examples:
      • The group utilized available space and materials in creative ways
      • Additional donations and partnerships enhanced the project

In conducting the evaluation, staff will use:

  • Grantees’ final report forms
  • Before and after photos
  • Visits to the project (as feasible)

The $3,000 in funds must be spent on additional site improvements on the same block as the project and used within six months of being awarded the funds. Use of funds must be approved by the City; and receipt of contest award is contingent upon final execution of a separate grant agreement with the City of Pittsburgh and compliance with all Love Your [Resilient] Block requirements.

Apply online here 

Please do not hesitate to call 412-255-4795 or email with any questions regarding the application.

For project guidance or questions about resilience, please contact one of our Resilience Consultants:

Alexander Cupo - - 215-285-5030

Emily Costello - - 814-360-6858

Mayor's Office of Service and Civic Engagement
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2280

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