Today, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful announced the winners of its microgrant program: two $1000 grants will go to the South Kensington Community Partners (SKCP) and the North 5th Street Revitalization Project (N5SRP), and the Passyunk Square Civic Association will receive a $500 grant. The microgrants are aimed at providing seed funding for impactful and innovative anti-litter initiatives.
The winners were selected by a small committee of experts and stakeholders, according to Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Director Michelle Feldman.
“We used a rubric that included the following criteria: impact, collaboration, community-driven, innovative, sustainable, feasible and scalable,” she wrote in an email.
N5SRP will use the funding to expand their already-successful “Keep North 5th Clean” campaign and reach more residents with its anti-litter message.
“We have a very community engagement-based approach to litter education. Specifically, we work with youth out of our nearby high schools to host community cleanups. We outfit the teenage volunteers with bright T-shirts that say ‘community champion’ across the back,” said Philip Green, program director at N5SRP. “We’ll also blow up ‘I love Olney’ balloons and tie them to the rolling trash bins that the volunteers use to sweep up litter. The whole idea is for the youth to strike up conversations about litter and neighborhood stewardship with passersby. “
The grant will help to fund anti-litter literature, Keep 5th Clean campaign decals to be affixed to recycle bins, t-shirts for clean-up volunteers, and photo-op backdrop and materials, light refreshments, printing and other miscellaneous expenses. In the last 18 months the program has held 10 community cleanups engaging 180 volunteers, swept up over 3,500 contractor bags of street litter, and removed 7,285 bandit signs from utility poles across Olney.
“We’re honored and thrilled to have been awarded KPB’s first ever microgrant!” Green added. “We’ll put it to good use engaging the community around neighborhood cleanliness.”
SKCP will use their grant to start a tool library, where residents will be able to sign out community cleanup supplies such as rakes, brooms and shovels.
From our Partners
“South Kensington Community Partner’s SK Cleans is a tool lending library and Help Board to help support the residents and businesses of South Kensington in maintaining clean, litter free blocks,” wrote Jackie Cusack, NAC coordinator for SKCP, in an email. “We often get request for cleaning tools or out side small maintenance help from neighbors who want to clean up their block and make small repairs but we have not had the supplies to lend out. By providing the tools needed, SK will experience clean blocks not just twice a year at the community wide clean ups but on an ongoing basis.”
Resident will be able to sing-out tools and supplies Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and tools will be lent for 48 hours.
“We will have an array of tools including brooms, rakes, paint brushes, shovels and trash bags. In addition, if there is a minor repair or help a neighbor needs, they will be able to add it to our volunteer board, and if a volunteer has time and the skill set needed SKCP will connect the volunteer and the resident requiring assistance to get the task completed,” Cusack said.
Passyunk Square Civic Association will use the funding to start an annual, community based public art project in strategic “litter hot spots” that would encourage residents and visitors not to litter and direct them towards trash cans.
“I hope our microgrants seed projects first and foremost make a measurable impact, but also foster civic engagement and are the beginning of longer-term programs and initiatives,” Feldman said. “That’s one of the reasons our selection committee was so enthusiastic about South Kensington Community Partner’s proposal to establish a tool library – we believe that will become a long-term community asset.”
Image via N5SRP