Thousands awarded to local projects

At the end of August, Mayor Greg Nickels awarded 19 neighborhood projects a total of more than $1.3 million in matching funds from the Department of Neighborhoods.

Local organizations to receive funds:

- $63,750 to the Committee for Renovation of the West Woodland Field for creating a green sustainable track and a ga-ga ball court and rain garden on the school playground. (Green Lake/Phinney)

- $50,000 to the Friends of Northlake Wharf for planning efforts to convert an underused piece of waterfront into an active public site for community use. (Fremont)

- $80,000 to the North Seattle Boys and Girls Club for the creation of a plaza and gathering place for Greenwood neighbors. (Greenwood)

The money will support projects across the city as diverse as public art, parks improvements and youth development. A ceremony and celebration was held for the award recipients at the North Seattle Boys and Girls Club.

“These awards recognize the dedication and hard work of community members working together to improve their neighborhoods,” said Nickels. “From youth leadership programs to wetland restoration, these projects will truly make a difference in people’s lives.”

The Department of Neighborhoods’ Large Projects Fund annually provides cash awards of up to $100,000 to neighborhood organizations committed to building a better community. The funding is matched by locally raised money, donated materials, and volunteer labor.

The 2009 awards range from $28,000 to $100,000 and communities have pledged to match the city’s $1.3 million contribution with resources valued at nearly $1.9 million. For a listing of all 2009 award recipients click here .

“Especially in tough economic times like these, the incredible value to our city that Neighborhood Matching Fund projects provides comes to light,” said Stella Chao, director of the Department of Neighborhoods.

Since the program was created 21 years ago, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has awarded more than $42 million with a community match of more than $64 million. Projects have involved nearly 65,000 volunteers who have donated over 400,000 work hours.

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