Orange County Grants Can Help Beautify Local Neighborhoods

Community & Services

Orange County Senior Code Compliance Officer Steve Marconi was driving around East Orlando when he noticed the entrance sign missing from a subdivision. Someone had hand-painted the name of the community in yellow and blue.

“I just happened to run across this,” Marconi recalled. “The original sign attached to the wall had fallen off. It needed some work.”

Marconi wanted to help the Piney Woods community, which lacks a mandatory homeowner’s association. Employees with the County’s Neighborhood Services Division visited communities to inform residents about a grant opportunity.  A Piney Woods resident applied for funding, and the community was awarded $11,000 in January.

Today, two new signs adorn the entrance facing Dean Road.

“I’m so happy about this,” said Jordi Pla, a resident of Piney Woods. “It made our entrance beautiful. And the grant application process was very easy.”

This is just one example of how Orange County’s Neighborhood Beautification Grants make a difference.

Orange County has $410,000 in annual funding to enhance the quality of subdivisions with new signage, landscaping, pressure washing, playground equipment, irrigation repair, lighting, and more.

“It’s important to understand that our team takes initiative with this grant,” said
Rose-Nancy Joseph, Neighborhood Services’ Senior Program Manager of Community Development & Outreach. “We knock on doors to let residents know funding is available. We are here to coach communities through the process.”

Orange County’s Board of County Commissioners recently approved grant funding to the following communities:

  • $5,000 to Lake Jean Homeowners’ Association, Inc., near Winter Park, to replace landscaping in three medians and repair irrigation
  • $15,000 to Winter Park Pines Community to pressure wash and paint brick signage pillars, trim palm trees, and raise oak tree canopy
  • $15,000 to Tealwood Cove Subdivision, near Lockhart, to replace two existing subdivision entrance signs
  • $15,000 to Bentons Garden Cove Subdivision, in West Orlando, for tree removal wall repair, painting and pressure washing
  • $15,000 to Normandy Shores Neighborhood Association, in Pine Hills, to repair existing signs and install solar lighting and a reader board
  • $14,030.24 to Windward Cay Winter Garden Homeowners Association, Inc. for improvements to its entranceway wall, landscaping, and lighting
  • $8,336.65 to Long Lake Park Homeowners’ Association, near Lockhart, for the installation of two entrance signs

Alicia Hollinger, a member of the Long Lake Homeowners’ Association, said her community has been looking to replace its signage for years.

“The signs are very outdated,” she said. “This neighborhood was built in the 1980s, and that’s how long the signs have been up there. We wanted something a bit more modern.”

Thanks to Orange County, new signs are on the way.

For subdivisions with mandatory homeowners’ associations, the grant offers up to $15,000 and requires a 50 percent match from the neighborhood organization.

For those without a mandatory homeowners’ association, the grant provides up to $15,000 toward projects and does not require a match.

Orange County also offers a Sustainable Communities Grant Program. Eligible projects can address lighting, watering, community gardens, electricity generation, and pollution reduction.

“The programs provide the much-needed funding to neighborhoods, without resources, to implement beautification and sustainability projects,” said Jason Reynolds, manager of Neighborhood Services Division.

The County is accepting Neighborhood Beautification Grant applications for the next round of funding through October 10, 2024.

The Neighborhood Services Grants Team will soon embark on its summer tour of canvassing communities and attending Orange County Community Centers to promote the grants.

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