Project Description

The 2024 Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program (the “Program”) has been revised to expand and enhance engagement, equities, and outcomes for participating neighborhood associations (each, an “Association”). Revisions to the Program include:

Program Guidelines

Direct Payment of Funds –Grant funds will be paid directly to contractors and vendors contracted to provide labor and materials for a grant-funded neighborhood project (each, a “Project”) in lieu of reimbursing the Association for the payment of Project costs, unless the neighborhood requests reimbursement.

Neighborhood Engagement – A submitted application (each, an “Application”) must include appropriate evidence of neighborhood engagement in selecting and supporting a Project.

Allocation of Grant Awards – Applications submitted by Associations not previously awarded grant funding for a Project will receive additional consideration in order to expand the reach of the Program. However, previous grant recipients are also encouraged to submit new Applications.

Location of Neighborhoods – Only Associations whose neighborhoods are located entirely within the City of Fort Wayne may submit Applications unless the Neighborhood Grants Manager waives the location requirement upon request of an Association.

Application Scores – Completion of each Section of the Application is required. Because of the considerable demand for grant funds, a comprehensive response to each Section is necessary. The maximum available points for the response to each Section have been adjusted to encourage the preparation and submission of a comprehensive and original Application.

The Program is designed to energize and improve the City’s neighborhoods by inviting eligible Associations to apply for a neighborhood improvement grant (each, a “Program Grant”) in the maximum amount of $5,000 to fund a Project located in the Association’s neighborhood (“Neighborhood”). In order to be considered for a Program Grant, the Project must fit within one (1) of the following categories: (1) Placemaking, (2) Transit Oriented Improvements, (3) Landscaping, and (4) Neighborhood Identification/Branding. Routine maintenance projects are not eligible for Program Grant funding.

Project Examples

Improvement above made by Maplewood Community(2023) in the new Sheldon Park.

  • Placemaking – park improvements/enhancements, playground equipment, vacant lot adoption/clean up, dog park equipment, benches, water fountains, pergolas/pavilions, and basketball court improvements.

Transit Oriented Improvements – transit stop beautification/benches, waste/recycling receptacles at transit stops, speed limit signage, and path and or trail improvements.

The improvement above was made by Harvester Neighborhood (2023) to add crosswalks in their neighborhood from Adams Elementary to McCormick Park

Landscaping – community gardens, butterfly gardens, tree planting, native plants, rain gardens, hanging flower baskets, and decorative planters.

Neighborhood Identification/Branding – murals, decorative signal cabinets, birdhouses, neighborhood communication kiosks, outdoor lighting, historic district signage and plaques, beautification microgrants, house number signs, and neighborhood history/landmark signage.

The award of a program grant is conditioned upon the review, unconditional approval, and, if applicable, permitting of the project by all municipal departments and divisions and private sector entities having jurisdiction over the project. For example, a public art project must be reviewed and approved by the public art commission, a transportation improvement project must be reviewed and approved by the department of public works, and a transit-related project requires an agreement between the association and citilink.

2024 Grant Map

Map of the city of Fort Wayne with neighborhood grantees plotted.

Map showing the 46 Neighborhoods that received grants for the 2024 Neighborhood improvement grant cycle.

2024 Grant recipients

2024 Grant Recipients

Mayor Sharon Tucker and the City of Fort Wayne’s Neighborhood Planning and Activation Workgroup announced May 6th that 46 neighborhood improvement grant projects are being awarded, totaling more than $200,000. These projects range from new landscaping in common areas to replacing neighborhood signage.

The announcement was held in the Hearthstone Neighborhood on Wallen Road.. Hearthstone is using their grant to install an outside community bulletin board to share neighborhood updates with residents, in addition to minor improvements to their common and recreation area. Representatives from Hearthstone were at the announcement to celebrate the Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program.

The program, overseen by the City’s Community Development Division, is designed to support neighborhood beautification efforts and strengthen neighborhood involvement. Each yearneighborhoods are asked to incorporate additional community engagement in the grant application process to showcase how their projects are resident-led and resident-serving.

The projects selected will enhance neighborhood aesthetics, provide a clear community benefit, be accessible to all neighborhood residents, and increase civic pride. Expenses such as routine maintenance, major infrastructure projects, social events, or operating expenses were not eligible for grant funds.

"We are incredibly fortunate in Fort Wayne to have such exceptional neighborhoods, whose ongoing efforts are dedicated to creating, preserving, and enriching vibrant amenities for the enjoyment of individuals and families," expressed Mayor Sharon Tucker. "Our Neighborhood Improvement Grant program exemplifies the spirit of partnership between residents and local government, ensuring that we collectively strive to make our city the best it can be."

Each proposal was evaluated and scored based on grant criteria and available funding. The list below is the initial grant recipients, along with a short description of their proposed projects, which still require all necessary permits and approvals:

Becketts Run – Trail improvements in the neighborhood common area

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Bloomingdale – Install informational signs throughout the neighborhood which aim to commemorate significant historical sites

· Grant amount: $4,020.00

Brierwood Hills – Improve the neighborhood entrance with landscaping enhancements, electrical improvements, and cleaning the existing limestone pillars

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Broad River – Develop a parklet in a vacant lot on Scott Avenue in the northern portion of the neighborhood that does not have ample greenspace.

· Grant amount: $4,993.82

Concordia Gardens – Continue making improvements to the common area, including the addition of benches

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Continental Park – Add neighborhood signage, including an LED flashing stop sign for neighborhood safety

· Grant amount: $4,145.60

Covington Pines – Add new trees along the neighborhood border to improve existing landscaping

· Grant amount: $4,966.25

East Central – Install new neighborhood signage using the recently developed brand identity through the FORTify Neighborhood Accelerator program

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Eastland Gardens Community – Improvements to the front entrance of the neighborhood

· Grant amount: $4,317.99

Fairfield – New wayfinding signage and children at play signs to enhance neighborhood traffic calming

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Forest Park Boulevard – Improvements to the boulevard with additional tree planting, median re-seeding, and landscaping

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Forest Ridge Estates – Enhance the neighborhood entrance with repair of the existing signage and improved landscaping

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Hamilton – A neighborhood mural commemorating the rich history of the neighborhood on the wall of a local business

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Hamlets West of Woodland Ridge East – Repair the existing entrance signage, in addition to landscaping improvements

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Harrison Hill – Improving neighborhood landscaping by planting perennial patches with native plants, in addition to adding signage and a bench

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Hearthstone Village – Install an outdoor community bulletin board to share neighborhood messages with residents, and make small improvements to the neighborhood common space

· Grant amount: $4,902.00

Historic Foster Park – Improve the landscaping in the park strip located on Sheridan Court

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Historic Oakdale – Celebrate and commemorate the historic identity of the neighborhood with the installation of new sidewalk plaques at a few of the neighborhood's historic homes

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Historic Southwood Park – Continue an effort to improve the overall tree canopy throughout the neighborhood by installing new street trees

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Imperial Swathmore – Enhance the landscaping at neighborhood entrances, in addition to adding new picnic tables in the common areas

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

LaRez – Neighborhood traffic calming improvements, including the addition of a radar speed sign to alert drivers when they need to slow down

· Grant amount: $3,600.00

Lincoln Village – Improving the neighborhood common area with the addition of new benches

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Manor Park – Adding a new play structure in the common area to serve the children of the neighborhood by providing ample space to play

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Mill Creek Villas – Remove existing invasive trees in the neighborhood and replace these with native/non-invasive plants, in addition to replacing lighting near the neighborhood monument sign

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Nebraska – Install a unique community history sharing project which will include photos and stories of long-time neighborhood residents. The project will be a physical art installment at the neighborhood owned Wayne Knitting Mills Park on Boone Street

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

New Glenwood Park – Improve the neighborhood entrance with a new entrance sign and landscaping

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

North Highlands – Add new concrete pads and benches at bus stops in the neighborhood, while adding new salt barrels so residents can help keep sidewalks safe in the winter

· Grant amount: $3,800.00

Northside – Improve the aesthetic of the business corridor in East State Village with the addition of new planters

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Pettit-Rudisill – Establish a new community garden to help serve the neighborhood

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Pine Valley – Repair walkway lighting for a section of the common area in the neighborhood which currently has little to no lighting

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Seven Oaks – Add new picnic tables to the neighborhood common area

· Grant amount: $4,750.00

Shannonside – Install new mulching and borders at the recently installed swing sets to ensure that people can safely use them

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Shores of Rock Creek – Enhance the neighborhood entrance with new signage

· Grant amount: $4,968.00

Springfield – Install a new outdoor community message board to share neighborhood messages with residents

· Grant amount: $2,448.49

Stonefield Community – Install new light poles and sign posts with solar-powered lighting in areas near the neighborhood entrance

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

The Fountain – Install a new neighborhood fountain at the entrance

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

The Shores of Coventry – Replace or repair several lights in the neighborhood common area to improve safety

· Grant amount: $4,968.00

Trier Ridge Park – Enhance the neighborhood entrance with improved landscaping

· Grant amount: $4,190.87

Village Woods – Improve the neighborhood entrance signage and landscaping

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Villas of LaCabreah – Restore the stones and lawn along the common area pond

· Grant amount: $4,500.00

Wedgewood Place – Add new play equipment, including a new painted hop-scotch area in the common area to increase recreational activity for children

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Westchester Glens – Improved landscaping and tree canopy in the neighborhood, including the area between the front entrance ponds

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Wheatridge – Common area improvement, including the removal of tree stumps, and planting new native plants and trees

· Grant amount: $4,700.00

Williams Woodland Park – Installing a new artistic crosswalk with the City’s painted pavement program

· Grant amount: $1,316.00

Woodhurst – Continue installing new neighborhood signage throughout

· Grant amount: $4,817.00

Woodland Lake – Improving recreational opportunities for the neighborhood with the addition of a playset in the common area

· Grant amount: $5,000.00

Grant application

2024 Grant Application - Closed on March 8th at 5pm

2023 Grantees

Previous Grant Winners

Continue the improvements to the neighborhood entrance with the addition of new signage lighting

Increase pedestrian activity throughout the neighborhood with the addition of walking paths

Incorporate the new Bloomingdale Neighborhood logo through the addition of decorative light pole signs and a new traffic box signal wrap at a primary intersection

Improve the neighborhood entrance and restore the landmark lighthouse at the entryway

Install native bush and landscaping at the entrance

Redesign and replace landscaping around the Covington Road entrance to the neighborhood to improve the line of sight and increase neighborhood safety for residents

Replace trees that were lost in the Summer 2022 derecho at the neighborhood entrance

Replace non-native species plants with native plants to fill in neighborhood parks

Improve the neighborhood entrance by adding lights, replacing brick, and updating the neighborhood signage

Enhance neighborhood beauty with the addition of landscaping at the four existing stone entryways on State Boulevard

Improve the neighborhood common space, replacing existing trees and benches with new material

Hamlets West

New landscaping at the entrance to Hamlets West

Replace existing landscaping at the neighborhood entrance with native plants

Increase the neighborhood tree canopy by planting new street trees and native plants in the boulevard park strip

Enhancing pedestrian safety for neighborhood children by painting creative artistic crosswalks connecting students at key intersections to Adams Elementary School, in addition to renovating the Harvester Neighborhood sign

Incorporating improvements for the neighborhood’s four-legged friends with the addition of doggy spot stations, in addition to new trash receptacles in the neighborhood common area

Replace the existing neighborhood entrance sign

Install new decorative light pole metal signs promoting neighborhood identity

Increase the neighborhood tree canopy by planting new street trees

Improve the neighborhood boulevard park strip on South Arlington by adding a new bench and landscape area

Added flashing stop signs at a difficult intersection in the neighborhood.

Remove an existing tree, shrubs, bush, and shed in the common area, and replace them with grass to improve visibility and safety

Enhance the neighborhood entrance by replacing existing landscaping

Continue the existing neighborhood entrance landscaping project and add rocks around retention pond

Replace the existing outdated neighborhood marker on South Clinton to incorporate new identity and logo

Replace existing ash trees in the neighborhood with new trees to improve neighborhood beauty

Increasing safety on Sharon Drive by incorporating two new lighted stop signs to warn drivers of a major intersection. The neighborhood will also include landscaping at both neighborhood entrances

Install new neighborhood benches at the future Sheldon Park location in the neighborhood

Create a space for neighborhood families to gather with the addition of a public chess table

Oakborough Neighborhood

Added lighting in the common and community trail areas in Oak Borough

Enhance safety for neighborhood residents with the addition of lighting in both the common area and wooded trails

The historic neighborhood gateway pillars on the Hanna Street Trail need to be repaired for safety

Continue with the successful transformation of existing common space to the Traders Park Nature Preserve including the development of a rain garden

Replace existing deteriorating street signs on key neighborhood streets

Improve existing neighborhood playground and park areas, and add new benches

Improve the neighborhood gateway with new landscaping

Improve and enhance the neighborhood aesthetics through alley activation and the development of a new composting education program

Enhance neighborhood gateway through the addition of new landscaping features

Enhance neighborhood gateway through the addition of new landscaping features

Remove the existing dead tree at the neighborhood entrance and replace and improve gateway landscaping

Incorporate new neighborhood gateway landscaping at Buckhurst Run Boulevard

Villas of LaCabreah

Enhanced entrance signage at Villas of LaCabreah

Enhance the entrance to the neighborhood with the addition of trees, bushes, and additional landscape elements

Remove and replace fallen deciduous and evergreen trees in the neighborhood.

Replace trees that were lost in the Summer 2022 Derecho at the neighborhood entrance.

Replace trees that were lost in the Summer 2022 D

Provide community gathering space in the neighborhood with the installation of a walkway near the community pond.

Enhance and revitalized neighborhood landscaping.

Replacing existing neighborhood signage and adding new signage on primary streets to enhance neighborhood identity.

Improving the neighborhood entrances with new landscaping and other improvements

Updated neighborhood brand and added light pole signage around neighborhood with updated branding.

Replace the existing neighborhood signage that needs repaired