December 16, 2016
Through simple beautification efforts and a healthy dose of civic pride, 25 volunteer-led community groups will work with City agencies to transform public spaces in Spring of 2017
NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Service and Citizens Committee for New York City – along with the Departments of Parks, Transportation, Environmental Protection and Sanitation – today announced the 25 winners of the 2017 “Love Your Block” awards. Love Your Block, now in its ninth year, is a program in which volunteer-led community groups compete for a chance to win a $1,000 cash grant, project planning assistance and City services to beautify and transform a public space. All beautification projects will occur from April 15 to June 25, 2017.
A complete list of awardees broken down by borough and neighborhood can be found here. Love Your Block grant recipients in a snapshot:
“I want to congratulate all of the recipients of the 2017 Love Your Block awards and recognize them for volunteering their time to strengthen communities across the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “When we come together to beautify our neighborhoods, we build a fairer and more just City that is stronger than it was yesterday. I would also like to thank NYC Service and Citizens Committee for partnering with our City agencies and community leaders to make this program possible.”
“Love Your Block is about recognizing the power of our people and supporting them to enact change one block at a time,” said New York City Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. “NYC Service is honored to spend another year partnering with Citizens Committee, our City agencies, and New York City residents on the neighborhood level, to continue revitalizing communities across the City.”
“Love York Block is just that, a partnership between the grants made by Citizens Committee to community groups, Citi, a most generous supporter of Citizens Committee, and the City of New York’s, Parks, Transportation and Sanitation departments,” said Peter H. Kostmayer, CEO of Citizens Committee for New York City. “The most important members of this partnership are the New Yorkers who apply for the grants and the City services to spruce up their neighborhoods.”
Love Your Block offers support to volunteer-led community and school groups – particularly groups working in high-need NYC neighborhoods – in the form of a $1,000 grant. In addition, the grant recipients request and receive project planning assistance as well as neighborhood services from the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Sanitation and the Department of Transportation, to transform a city block or group of consecutive blocks. Free services from these City agencies include trash collection on the day of the project; vacant lot cleanup; graffiti removal; dead tree removal; tree stewardship workshops; resident surveys to plant new street trees; provision of woodchip mulch for gardening projects; repair of and installation of street signs and street lights; traffic safety surveys; and installation of bicycle racks and speed bumps.
A selection committee of representatives from NYC Service, Citizens Committee and the City agencies reviews Love Your Block grant applications. All awarded projects demonstrate the ability to host a high-impact neighborhood improvement event that utilizes at least one City service and could engage at least 20 volunteers on their respective Love Your Block event days and block celebration days. Additional criteria used to review applications include project sustainability, the group’s capacity, neighborhood need as well as the group’s history and knowledge of neighborhood issues.
Since its inception in 2009, more than 270 Love Your Block Awards have been granted, with over 900 City services provided and nearly 10,000 community volunteers having been engaged in beautification projects.
"For nearly 25 years, the Liberian Cultural Association (LCA) has been dedicated to providing educational and empowerment opportunities to low income youth and families living and working on Staten Island's North Shore,” said Annette Estrella of the Liberian Cultural Association. “With hard work and dedication, our volunteer members have ensured a brighter future for our families, our friends and our neighbors. This spring, families, friends and neighbors across the Park Hill community will take up block beautification efforts. Our sincere thanks to Citizens Committee for New York City and NYC Service for awarding the LCA its first-ever Love Your Block Award!”
“Protecting the environment and improving the quality of life for New Yorkers, requires smart citywide policies and the engagement of communities on a block by block scale,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We are proud to partner with NYC Service, the Citizens Committee for NYC and community groups from all five boroughs on the ‘Love Your Block’ program.”
“Parks is proud to support the Love Your Block Awards, an initiative which engages community members in caring for public space,” said Department of Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Our city’s streets are home to more than 600,000 trees that beautify our blocks and make our neighborhoods healthier, and we count on volunteers to help ensure that they grow and thrive. Congratulations and thank you to all of the grant recipients.”
“We are thrilled to partner again with NYC Service and the Citizens Committee for New York City to support Love Your Block,” said Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “The community volunteers do great work all throughout all five boroughs, and help to make New York City cleaner and greener.”
“We congratulate this year’s Love Your Block grantees, who are helping give energized neighborhood residents an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and work together to revitalize their streets,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “To improve the livability and quality of life of New York City's streets, DOT has been happy to work with communities for better street lighting, new bike racks for neighborhood convenience and new signage to increase community safety. Today, we are also proud to work with grantees as well as our sister agencies – NYC Service, DEP, Parks and Sanitation – to support civic engagement and to help New Yorkers take ownership of their own blocks.”
"Heartfelt congratulations to all of the "Love Your Block" award winners. Thank you NYC Service and Citizens Committee for this awesome program promoting the beautification of our NYC neighborhoods," said State Senator Roxanne Persaud.
"Love makes a city block better," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "So this year's 'Love your Block' awards, from Harlem and East Harlem to Hell's Kitchen and the East Village – as well as the other boroughs – will help make the whole city better. By supporting those who volunteer to make their blocks better, NYC Service and the Citizens Committee for New York City are fertilizing seeds that will blossom for years to come."
“Congratulations to all of this year’s ‘Love Your Block’ awardees, especially those selected from Queens,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The Breezy Point Garden Club, the Joseph Pulitzer Middle School in Jackson Heights and We Love Kew Gardens are deserving recipients of these awards, and Queens looks forward to seeing firsthand the great job they will do to spruce up their neighborhoods. The de Blasio Administration, NYC Service, the Citizens Committee for New York City and the Departments of Parks, Transportation, Environmental Protection and Sanitation also deserve to be commended for undertaking the Love Your Block program, which has had a direct impact in beautifying our communities.”
“Love Your Block Grants give community groups the boost they need to make a real difference beautifying their communities, and I’m thrilled that the Liberian Cultural Association has been selected as a recipient,” said Council Member Debi Rose. “With participation from local residents, the Liberian Cultural Association will use these funds to clean the streets and sidewalks of a 1.5-square mile area of Clifton. I congratulate the members on securing this grant, and I thank them for their efforts to improve the health and quality of life of this neighborhood.”
“I am delighted that Friends of the End and Lefferts Alliance Coming Together (LACT) have been selected as recipients of the ‘Love Your Block’ award," said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. "The funds from this award make it possible for community groups to have a significant impact in uplifting and beautifying their neighborhood. I congratulate Friends of the End and LACT on receiving the ‘Love Your Block’ Award and commend them for their efforts that will benefit so many others in the 40th Council District."
"When we celebrate Love Your Block recipients, we acknowledge the good work done daily throughout our neighborhoods. Residents in Sunset Park take care of each other and are proud of their homes. I'm especially happy that Love Your Block recipients get support from multiple City agencies in addition to a cash award. That means immediate improvements on a block can also lead to a better long-term relationship between residents and City government," said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
“Love Your Block is an effective resource that helps local residents become active participants in the beautification of their community. No one knows a neighborhood better than the people who live there, and so I congratulate the members of Coney Island Houses Residents Association who will now be empowered with the tools necessary to augment and enhance their community. I look forward to seeing the results,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.
"I am delighted to learn that IS 145 has been selected to receive a Love Your Block Award," said Council Member Daniel Dromm. "Children deserve to learn and play in a positive and nurturing environment. By providing the funds school officials need to beautify IS 145's block, this award will provide just that. I applaud the Citizens Committee for New York City and NYC Service for investing in our neighborhood and our children."
About NYC Service
NYC Service, a division of the Office of the Mayor, promotes volunteerism, engages New Yorkers in service, builds volunteer capacity and mobilizes the power of volunteers and national service members to impact New York City's greatest needs. To learn more about NYC Service and connect to volunteer opportunities across New York City, visit nyc.gov/service.
About Citizens Committee for New York City
Citizens Committee for New York City’s mission is simple: to help New Yorkers – especially those in low-income areas – come together and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Residents are uniquely situated to define and act on the issues affecting their communities. When provided with modest support, neighborhood and school groups can effectively mobilize community resources to improve quality of life. Citizens Committee for New York City supports these grassroots efforts by offering grants, skills-building workshops and further technical support in the form of project planning assistance and an equipment share library. In 2015, we provided 366 projects with $1.6 million in grants and services, and our staff facilitated 30 workshops to over 500 social entrepreneurs. Since 1975, we have promoted the spirit of volunteerism, local engagement and social justice that drives our work. Visit us at www.citizensnyc.org.