Community Post

Ideas for a small community-building project?

Jefferson’s helpful summary of Central Area Neighborhood Council meeting contained the following notice, “Small Sparks provides grants of up to $ 250 for small scale community-building initiatives.  Have an idea?  email Mr. Divina at [email protected].”

Small Sparks is a city-funded project designed to inspire and support grassroots events.  From their website,

Small Sparks is a unique program designed to encourage community members, who may not be involved in neighborhood activity, to use their personal interest and creativity to do something fun and beneficial in the neighborhood. Small Sparks organizers involve new people in their neighborhood project. Small Sparks projects are intended to “ignite imagination, create community, and make a difference” in neighborhoods across the City.

Small Sparks projects

  • Build on what you enjoy

  • Involve new people

  • Benefit the neighborhood

  • Make the most of existing neighborhood resources

  • Take no more than two months to complete

  • Receives assistance from a neighborhood Small Sparks coach

Some of the Projects:

Garden of Homeless Angels: Street kids and community groups helped create a beautiful garden memorial to homeless kids who died. They transformed an ugly site into a green streetscape while celebrating neighborhood relationships.

Toss From the Tower: Residents of Beacon Tower wanted to know their neighbors, so they invited them to an afternoon of building and tossing paper airplanes from the Tower rooftop. Young and old joined together for a great time.

Wedgwood Neighborhood Service Exchange: Individuals from the Wedgwood neighborhood organized a flexible way for neighbors to meet and exchange skills and resources with each other. A directory of goods and services lets members know what is offered like plant, animal, and house sitting; car, window and clothes washing; rides to the doctor or airport; home repair; cooking; and more. Participants keep track of their exchanges in small booklets that resemble checking account registers.

Walking the Wagon: A wagon filled with used and interesting magazines is pulled by different families and youth throughout the neighborhood. Neighbors can choose a magazine of interest and add ones that they have already read to the mix. The wagon also displays neighborhood news and events to spread the word.

Let’s start a conversation.  Do any of these options look like fun?  What are your other ideas for a CD project?   Who else could we involved?  Perhaps CDN or other area businesses could provide some in-kind donation of advertising and/or time…


0 thoughts on “Ideas for a small community-building project?

  1. One idea would be to use funds to redo neighborhood traffic circles. Some of them have some pretty dead or overgrown foliage. I know there are a lot of gardeners in the greater neighborhood who would probably like to get involved (I know I would). Would add a lot of charachter, ownership, and postive morale to the community, not to mention be a way for people to get to know their neighbors and connect over similiar interests and goals. Could be cheap to do as well, I am sure group discounts could be arranged for plants, soil, etc.