Hooray! A year and a half after we started this project and 6 months after we applied for the DCNR grant, we finally have our funding totaling $157,000! We have always made our park revitalization plan flexible so we could still install most elements even if the funding was less than we anticipated. It’s wonderful to see it fully funded though so we can do everything close to the full scale we had hoped for.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources offers a Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) Grant that matches dollar for dollar other funds that are already raised for a conservation or restoration project. We spent the first few months of the year soliciting donations, writing grants and reaching out to the community for support. The community responded with a wealth of donations both individual and through businesses and non-profit organizations. We applied for the DCNR grant in April and since then we had to slow things down as we couldn’t use any of the funds raised until we found out if the match was awarded. Now that it is, we can start working towards actually implementing some of the elements next year. There is still a lot of work to do but there is now assurance that the project will be implemented thanks to this generous grant from the state.
It can’t be understated that the reason this park is being upgraded is because of a the wonderful partnership between the Borough of Carlisle, the Downtown Carlisle Association and Carlisle West Side Neighbors. Our neighborhood organization has been pushing this project forward and working hard to document the project so others can see it is well thought out and will support it. The Downtown Carlisle Association was our fiduciary agent throughout our fundraising, allowing us to apply for grants on their behalf through their 501c3 non-profit status. The DCNR grant is only awarded to a municipal entity so the borough had to apply for the grant. Parks and Recreation director, Andrea Crouse, worked extremely hard on the financial elements the grant required and Carlisle West Side Neighbors provided the narrative that told the story of why this project was such a great fit for DCNR. By working together we were fully successful and now we can watch our park go through a metamorphosis over the coming months.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to all of the supporters of this project. We will continue to need your support as work begins in the park so please consider attending a West Side meeting and helping during our work days. If you would like to join our email list for updates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Updates are also posted on Facebook and Twitter. Carlisle West Side Neighbors meet the 2nd Monday of the month at Friends Meeting House 252 A Street Carlisle.