SECC Announces Twelve Community Beautification Projects Awarded
for 2019 Neighborhood Enhancement Grant
CHICAGO (July 1, 2019) – The South East Chicago Commission (SECC) announced twelve project awards for the 2019 Neighborhood Enhancement Grants. 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, SECC has collectively granted nearly one million dollars in beautification funds since the program inception 20 years ago. This year’s program is sponsored by the Elizabeth Louise Smith Fund of the Chicago Community Trust, the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago (PHIMC), Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference (HPKCC), Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), Hyde Park Bank (Wintrust) and individual donors.
For 2019, in partnership with Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago (PHIMC), SECC two special Healthy Chicago 2.0 Community Seed Grants that are located within a ½ mile of the Greenline CTA stations, increasing community walkability and safety. Community walkability contributes to health and well-being by allowing residents to get places safely and easily and by increasing opportunities for physical activity and social connection. Examples of factors that affect walkability include sidewalk conditions, motorist and pedestrian behaviors, signage, perception of violence, neighborhood aesthetics, and nearby amenities.
The SECC and our partners are committed to improving the quality of life in the southeast lakefront neighborhoods, and we could not be more pleased with the response from the community. We received 26 applications for this year’s Neighborhood Enhancement Grant program, so there is clearly a need and enthusiasm for community beautification projects.
– Diane Burnham, Executive Director, SECC
The grant selection committee, comprised of community members from the five footprint neighborhoods, selected the following community groups for the strength of their proposals and the breadth of potential impact.
Healthy Chicago 2.0 Community Seed Grants Awardees:
- Blacks in Green – The Mamie Till Forgiveness Garden will be designed and developed for the community on a vacant lot located at the northwest corner of 64th and St. Lawrence Streets in honor of Emmitt Till’s mother, Mamie Till. The garden will be free and open to the public and will feature curving paths, rolling berms, a water pond, and a historic plaque. (Woodlawn)
- University of Chicago Charter School Woodlawn Campus – Woodlawn Sustainability Garden will develop the parkway space at Woodlawn and 63rd into a positive public garden that promotes the exchange of ideas with: interpretive signage that students create, a Little Free Library designed by students, an “at will” raised-bed vegetable garden and a crabapple tree on the parkway. (Woodlawn)
- 41st and Ellis Block Club –Together We Grow Garden will add three additional raised flower boxes in the 41st and Ellis community garden project, which was once a distressed vacant lot, which now cared for by the block club and is frequented by local seniors. (Oakland)
- Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park – The Augustana Gardens Mosaic Art Project will create a wall-based tile mosaic overlooking the beautiful urban garden built along 55th Street. The theme of the mosaic will be “All are Welcome”, a reflection of this remarkable neighborhood’s diversity and an exhortation to the community and all who pass by it daily. (Hyde Park)
- Chicago Eco House – The West Woodlawn Hoop House Beautification Project will build and install a hoop house, which is a type of greenhouse that’s built using a hooping or bending system, at Vernon Park Gardens. Neighborhood youth will be involved in learning how to build the hoop house structure. (Woodlawn)
- Friends of Bret Harte Elementary – Bret Harte Mural Project will design and install a beautiful mural on the outer walls of Bret Harte Elementary. The mural will be centered on themes around leadership, building community, growing empathy and self-confidence. (Hyde Park)
- Hyde Park Historical Society– Hyde Park Historical Society Placemaking Improvements project will create and install new signage and lighting for the Historical Society located on the east side of South Lake Park and 55th Streets, designed to attract new visitors and placemaking efforts. (Hyde Park)
- I Am We – Leave a Book, Take a Book – Woodlawn Reading Together will create bridges between youth and community by creating two book boxes on 63rd street. The books will be a collection of children books, business reading and various types of novels. (Woodlawn)
- Midway Plaisance Advisory Council (MPAC) – The Midway Hillside Beautification project will work to plant 3,000 bulbs on the east and west hillsides of Midway Plaisance and near the Boulevard signs at the end of the Midway. The project will also work to clear weed overgrowth and plant wildflower seeds on hillsides. (Woodlawn/Hyde Park)
- Nichols Park Advisory Council (NPAC) – The Nichols Park 55th Street Fountain Flower Bed Enhancement, funded as a second-year extension project, will continue with additional flower planting at the 55th St fountain. (Hyde Park)
- Oakland Cultural Alliance – The Oakland Museum and Garden Preservation Project, funded for a second year, will continue work on the preservation of the Milton Mizenburg sculptures located at Lake Park and 41st in the Oakland Community Garden. (Oakland)
- Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC) – QCDC Branding and Placemaking Improvements Project will physically enhance QCDC’s building facade located at 42nd and S. Berkeley Streets with landscaping improvements and installation of new signage for community identification. (Oakland)
For more deadlines and information, visit our Neighborhood Enhancement Grant page. Or contact the SECC office 773-324-6926 for additional info.