Baltimore Parks & People Foundation’s Grants Program
Several Baltimore community groups have received small grants from Parks & People, a city-wide nonprofit organization, to complete projects alongside or near the Gwynns Falls Trail. The grants program was started in 1995 with a grant from the Merck
Family and the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds to encourage community involvement in parks and environmental improvement. The grants help strengthen the ties between community residents and the new 14-mile trail.
The program awards grants of $250 – $1,000 to community groups for neighborhood greening projects or for involvement in the development of the trail. The project targets communities which are underserved or needy and do not usually have access to greening programs.
To apply, the group must be community-based and must have a bank account. The group can have formed only in order to do the project with the Parks & People Foundation; all applicants must work with a Parks & People Foundation staff member in planning their projects.
Parks & People is trying to foster independence in the groups to which they award grants. If applicants are turned down, they may be offered a contingency award to tighten up their project description in whichever area the application was weak. The grants program can help less-established groups gain the strength and structure they need to run an independent greening program.
Some groups, having completed a greening project with Parks & People, then turn their attention to other projects, such as housing problems.