Orange County’s Sustainable Communities Grant Program: Creating Eco-Friendly Neighborhoods
Providing funding to support and assist neighborhoods and organizations working on reducing pollution and their carbon footprint is being spearheaded by Orange County Neighborhood Services Division and its Sustainable Communities Grant Program. By definition, a sustainable community is economically, environmentally, and socially healthy and resilient, and by offering these grants, it endeavors to enhance the quality of life in the region for current and future generations.
Essentially, the program permits projects that fulfill the County’s goal of creating a sustainable community by reducing electricity and water consumption; restoring ponds and lakes; providing for community garden construction and planting; and hosting educational events with giveaways. Neighborhood organizations are also encouraged to present projects tailored to their specific community.
“When we talk to community members, we ascertain what their goals are for these projects, and then we match them to the program that’s most suited for them,” said Seina Gilman, Program Supervisor, Orange County Neighborhood Services. “I enjoy seeing these projects come to fruition, especially because they represent opportunities for community members to come together for a worthwhile cause.”
Grants are available to both voluntary neighborhoods and homeowners associations for projects ranging from $500 – $5,000. If the community has a mandatory homeowners association, the organization must have its board of directors or executive board vote on and approve the grant before submission.
“As we continue to grow population-wise, we want to ensure our environment is maintained to sustain all of us, and that starts with neighborhoods,” asserted Gilman. “A lot of subdivisions in the County were built in a time when we didn’t have the technology to make them as sustainable as we can now, so the grant assists in funding projects to update and fix these things so we can continue to be better environmental stewards.”
For more information, go to Sustainable Communities Grant Guidelines and Application Booklet. You can also contact Seina Gilman, program supervisor, at 407-836-4212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.