We are in the very early stages of grantmaking with four pilot neighborhoods: New Town, Northwest Jacksonville, Eastside and Greater Arlington. These neighborhoods were chosen because they have existing leadership organizations, strong resident engagements and a resident–defined plan or priorities despite significant challenges in key areas.
The Community Foundation is investing time and funding to help these neighborhoods attain the vibrancy that their residents desire. Working in support of (or in partnership with) the neighborhoods’ existing leadership organizations, we are:
$25,000 for an Economic Development specialist who will build on the success of the North Point Town Center by leading new commercial developments as well as technical assistance and support for small and emerging businesses. The Community Foundation offered a $25,000 matching grant, and our longtime partner LISC provided the matching funds for this position.New Town:
$30,000 to create an outdoor learning lab at the Farmacy, a community garden where fresh fruits and vegetables are grown–it also serves as a community gathering spot. The Outdoor Learning Lab will offer programming to bring young people and the neighborhood’s Vision Keepers (a dedicated corps of long-time New Town resident volunteers) together, with plans to expose young people to concepts as diverse as nutrition, entrepreneurship, agriculture, and business management.
Eastside Urban Renewal & Eastside Collective Impact:
$10,630 for community engagement activities including a community fair, a jazz event, and monthly ECC meetings.
$3,500 to Renew Arlington to sponsor a learning trip to Birmingham where they will get a first-hand look at a project similar to one planned for the Arlington neighborhood.
More globally, we are investing in LISC’s summit which is an opportunity for neighborhood organizations from across Jacksonville to learn from a nationally-known expert in community engagement; and finally, we are holding regular meetings with the City of Jacksonville’s Neighborhoods Department, neighborhood funders and key nonprofits to ensure that we are all aligned and learning from one another’s efforts. Stay tuned as this effort gains traction in 2018!