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Neighborhood Enhancement Grant

Grant Secc

The Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program is an initiative administered by the South East Chicago Commission (SECC) and sponsored by the Elizabeth Louise Smith Fund, the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference, the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and the Hyde Park Bank, A Wintrust Bank. The SECC awards grants to neighborhood organizations that support beautification projects to enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods and allow us to work together as community partners for the improvement of all our areas.

The program is designed to enhance the physical attractiveness of the Hyde Park-South Kenwood, North Kenwood-Oakland, Woodlawn, and Washington Park communities. Since 1999, we have collectively granted nearly $500,000 in beautification funds.

“This is a great opportunity for all of us to work together as community partners to improve the aesthetics of our neighborhoods, strengthen civic pride, and enhance the quality of our urban living,” said Wendy Walker Williams, Executive Director of the SECC.

The SECC providee grant assistance to neighborhood block groups, community organizations, school groups, park advisory councils and other organized groups with their beautification projects. Proposed projects are required to:

  • Be highly visible from the street
  • Be completed within a six-month time frame
  • Physically enhance the neighborhood and build on the character and uniqueness of the community
  • Strengthen civic pride and a strong sense of community
  • Be sustainable

Target Area: The target area includes the Oakland, Kenwood, Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and Washington Park communities.

For additional details about the grant, please review the links below.  

  • 2017 NEG Program Description (Download)
  • 2017 NEG Press Release - Invitation (Download)
  • NEG Impact Report 2016 (Download)
For 2017, the SECC will grant up to $3,000 per project awarded. The deadline for the 2017 application will be Friday June 23, 2017.

The 2016 Neighborhood Enhancement Grant award recipients included:

  • 62nd Street Garden: A Good Fences, Good Neighbors project to install a fence on the east side of the garden location at 62nd Street and Dorchester Avenue. (Woodlawn)
  • Blacks in Green: Orchard of Ancestors’ continuation of a 2015 landscaping project at 61st Street and St. Lawrence Avenue. (Woodlawn)
  • Cornell Park Advisory Council: Installation of the Cornell Park Nature Area & Kiosk, located at 54th and Cornell, with a focus on native plants. (Hyde Park)
  • Chicago Public Arts Group: To complete the 57th Street Underpass Mural by installing the two final mosaic panels. (Hyde Park)
  • Washington Park Chamber of Commerce: 55th Street Business Beautification Project includes landscaping and installations along the Garfield Boulevard/55th Street corridor. (Washington Park)
  • William Hill Garden/Gallery: Continuation of the 2015 Dorchester Botanical Project along the Metra tracks at 6400 S. Dorchester Ave. (Woodlawn)
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