Neighborhood Matching Grants

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2017-18 Grant Cycle Is Now Open

Grant Applications Due February 12, 2018

We are looking forward to an exciting group of applications this year! Please review the dates and information below then contact staff with your ideas or questions. 

2017-18 Important Dates:

 Grant Cycle Opens  Monday, October 2, 2017
 Grant Information Meeting  Monday, October 30, 2017 from 12-1 pm at 919 Palm Street
 Application Deadline  Monday, February 12, 2018 at 5 pm
 HRC Funding Decisions  Wednesday April 4, 2018
 Contracts Signed By  May 4, 2018
 Projects Completed By  One year from signed contract


Program Guidelines:

To learn more about the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program, please download the Program Guidelines:

2017-18 Neighborhood Matching Grant Program Guidelines

Application Materials:

Grant submittal instructions are on the first page of the application, which is downloadable below:

Neighborhood Matching Grant Program 2017-18 Application (.pdf—fillable) 

(Save a copy to your computer before filling out)

Required Attachments:

Match Pledge Form

Neighborhood Petition Form

For more information:

Download the program flyer below. Email questions to, or contact Planning Technician Cara Vereschagin at (805)781-7596. We encourage you to contact staff early with any questions you may have about the program.

Neighborhood Matching Grant Flyer-October 2017_thumb

Neighborhood Matching Grant Program Background

San Luis Obispo’s quality of life is tied to strong neighborhoods and active residents. The purpose of the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program is to support grassroots projects that enhance and strengthen neighborhoods. All projects are initiated, planned and implemented by neighborhood members in partnership with the City. Neighborhood involvement and relationship building are key components of the program.

Grant requirements include: a match amount from the neighborhood equal to or greater than the grant request; tangible neighborhood benefits; documented neighborhood support and involvement; project readiness; and project sustainability, as described further below.

The Neighborhood Matching Grant Program was originally authorized in the 2015-17 Financial Plan as a two-year pilot program. $5,320 was awarded in year 1, and $6,982 was awarded in year 2. It was reauthorized in the 2017-19 Financial Plan, with $20,000 available for grants.

Grant requests may range from $250 to $5,000 and for every dollar awarded by the City, the neighborhood provides an equal or greater match consisting of volunteer labor, donated professional services, donated materials and/or direct financial contributions. 

Update on 2016-17 Neighborhood Matching Grant Projects:

The Human Relations Commission approved two neighborhood matching grants for 2016-17: Mitchell Park and Serra Meadows Neighborhoods.

PROJECT #1, Mitchell Park: $5,000 was awarded to the Mitchell Park neighbors, who refreshed the landscaping in two prominent park areas: around the bandstand, in the center of the park, and at the Senior Center, on the corner of Santa Rosa and Buchon Streets. The project serves as a model of xeriscape gardening. Using drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants, the new landscaping highlights and enhances two of the park's prominent areas. The Senior Center is also on the city’s list of historic resources. Stop by and take a look at their beautiful work!

mpark 8Volunteers at Mitchell Park in Spring 2017 laying the groundwork for a new drought-tolerant garden around the historic Senior Center building.

PROJECT #2, PUPs—Pop-Up Parties (Serra Meadows). $1,982 was awarded to Serra Meadows neighbors, for two inclusive neighborhood events that will connect neighbors. Fun all-ages activities will be combined with emergency preparedness and organizing for a neighborhood watch group. Serra Meadows is a new neighborhood and this is a seed project for fostering a sense of community. As of September 2017, pinata making party and contest has already taken place, and more activities are planned. 

Year 1 Neighborhood Matching Grant Recipients:

On February 3, 2016, the City’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) approved the City’s first two Neighborhood Matching Grants, to the Islay Hill/Arbors Neighbors and the Cerro San Luis Foothills Neighborhood Stewards.

Project Summaries:

The Islay Hill/Arbors Neighbors received a grant award of $1,883 for their Islay Park and Trail Clean-Up Project. They provided volunteer labor to remove dead vegetation, branches and shrubs, along with abandoned drip irrigation line along the edges of the pedestrian path that connects Islay Hill Park to Spanish Oaks Drive. The project enhanced the safety and enjoyment of the popular neighborhood trail system. Their successful neighborhood work parties were held in July, and their project is now completed.

The Cerro San Luis Foothills Neighborhood received a grant award of $3,437 to organize Seasonal Social Gatherings of neighbors for quarterly events designed to increase neighborhood connections. Their themes and events are: Summertime Ice Cream Social (at the end of September when students are back); Fall Halloween in the Neighborhood; Winter Spiral of Lights (January); Spring Scavenger Hunt (May).