Wheeling’s ‘Love Your Neighborhood’ Mini-Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The City of Wheeling is once again encouraging residents to beautify their communities by applying to the Love Your Neighborhood mini-grant program. The program was approved by City Council during Tuesday’s meeting. Love Your Neighborhood was initially introduced in 2021 and provided funding for several successful projects.

City Clerk Jessica Zalenski explained that the City will offer up to $30,000 to help citizens to beautify neighborhoods. Each ward will be eligible for $5,000. However, if no applications are submitted from a specific ward, the City reserves the right to distribute monies to other projects in other wards. The program will be administered through the City Clerk’s office and all applications will be scored by an application review committee. Applications are available on the City website or by visiting the City Clerk’s office on the third floor of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline Street.

“The purpose of this mini-grant program is to encourage residents to carry out their own vision in their neighborhoods. The City of Wheeling hopes resident leaders will show their neighborhood pride by proposing projects and initiatives that will enhance, beautify and revitalize their communities,” she said, noting grant awards will be used solely for the purpose of enabling individuals, resident groups and/or community-based organizations to work with their neighbors in partnership with City agencies to beautify and rejuvenate neighborhoods.

Some neighborhood improvement projects that are eligible include the following:

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Vacant lot activation such as green spaces, signage; ongoing/coordinated litter/trash removal programs such as adopt-a-block, litter pick up days; beautification such as public art created by the community, landscaping, grass/brush removal, benches, crosswalk painting; programming and public activities such as Children’s Home Society pocket park maintenance and activities.

Application requirements include the following: recruit a total of three or more committed volunteers; submit a budget including in-kind contributions; submit a detailed plan that outlines how the project will be implemented, and most importantly sustained; and during the project, coordinate a pick-up of litter in the area the project is located.

Successful project applications must demonstrate the project will do at least one of the following: address a goal that is shared by community members; be resident-led and show clear support from the community; increase community connectedness through volunteerism; help improve residents’ perception of safety; improve the appearance of the neighborhood; revitalize a physical space (i.e. vacant lot, green space, etc.) that is underused, overgrown or an eyesore to the community; and work with city services as necessary to enhance the projects as necessary – example: Operations, Sanitation, Parks & Recreation departments.

Completed applications and all requested materials should be emailed to jessica.zalenski@wheelingwv.gov no later than June 30, 2024.  Applications will not be accepted after this date. All applications will be scored by a committee and awardees will be announced July 31. There will be a mandatory Grantee Orientation at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 26, 2024, in City Council Chambers. 

Those with questions about the program can contact Zalenski at (304) 234-6401.