Neighborhood Matching Grants

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Two 2016-17 Neighborhood Matching Grants Awarded and Underway!

The Human Relations Commission approved two neighborhood matching grants at their February 1, 2017 meeting. Congratulations to the Mitchell Park and Serra Meadows Neighborhoods!

PROJECT #1, Mitchell Park: $5,000 was awarded to the Mitchell Park neighbors, who will refresh the landscaping in two prominent park areas: the bandstand and the Senior Center. The project will serve as a model of xeriscape gardening. Using drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants, the landscape will highlight and enhance the former Kindergarten School, one of the city’s historic resources.

PROJECT #2, PUPs—Pop-Up Parties (Serra Meadows). $1,982 was awarded to Serra Meadows neighbors, for two inclusive neighborhood events that will connect neighbors. Fun all-ages activities will be combined with emergency preparedness and organizing for a neighborhood watch group. Serra Meadows is a new neighborhood and this is a seed project for fostering a sense of community.

Neighborhood Matching Grant Program Background

San Luis Obispo’s quality of life is tied to strong neighborhoods and active residents. The Neighborhood Matching Grant Program was developed to support grassroots projects that enhance and strengthen neighborhoods. All projects are initiated, planned and implemented by neighborhood members in partnership with the City.

On August 18, 2015, the San Luis Obispo City Council authorized the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program as a two-year pilot program; $5,320 was awarded in year 1, and $10,000 is available for distribution in year 2. In March, 2017, City Council voted to continue the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program for two additional years, with up to $10,000 available annually for grants, assuming current funding sources are identified to reallocate to the Program.

Grant requests may range from $250 to $5,000 and for every dollar awarded by the City, the neighborhood provides an equal match consisting of volunteer labor, donated professional services, donated materials, and/or direct financial contributions.

Year 1 Neighborhood Matching Grant Recipients

On February 3, 2016, the City’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) approved the City’s first two Neighborhood Matching Grants, to the Islay Hill/Arbors Neighbors and the Cerro San Luis Foothills Neighborhood Stewards.

Project Summaries:

The Islay Hill/Arbors Neighbors received a grant award of $1,883 for their Islay Park and Trail Clean-Up Project. They provided volunteer labor to remove dead vegetation, branches and shrubs, along with abandoned drip irrigation line along the edges of the pedestrian path that connects Islay Hill Park to Spanish Oaks Drive. The project enhanced the safety and enjoyment of the popular neighborhood trail system. Their successful neighborhood work parties were held in July, and their project is now completed.

The Cerro San Luis Foothills Neighborhood received a grant award of $3,437 to organize Seasonal Social Gatherings of neighbors for quarterly events designed to increase neighborhood connections. Their themes and events are: Summertime Ice Cream Social (at the end of September when students are back); Fall Halloween in the Neighborhood; Winter Spiral of Lights (January); Spring Scavenger Hunt (May). 

Islay Hill Neighbors at Work

Islay Hill Park and Trail Clean Up Project Coordinator Mary Lou Johnson with volunteers at their work party.

For more information on Year 1 grants, see the July 6, 2016 News Release.

2017-18 Important Dates:

Grant Cycle Opens: August 1, 2017

Check back here for more information on dates for the 2017-18 funding cycle.

Program Guidelines:

To learn more about the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program, please download the Program Guidelines:

2016-17 Neighborhood Matching Grant Program Guidelines

Application Materials:

Submittal instructions are on the first page of the application, which is downloadable below:

Neighborhood Matching Grant Program: 2016-17 Application (.pdf—fillable) 

(Save a copy to your computer before filling out)

Required Attachments:

Match Pledge Form

Neighborhood Petition Form

For more information:

Contact Associate Planner Rebecca Gershow at (805)781-7011, or We encourage you to contact staff early with any questions you may have about the program.

Download a .pdf of last year's presentation here.