Hillsborough Co. mini-grants help build neighborhood projects

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Florida – From dog parks and playgrounds to fitness trails, these are all things that can uplift a neighborhood, but who’s going to pay for it? Now, Hillsborough County is raising its hand. They offer dozens of mini-grants to help fund positive community projects.

Sean Troyer and Stefan Smith are always thinking about ways to improve their community of River Hills, which naturally lies along the Alafia River.

“Lots of people run here, lots of people ride bikes here, we thought, ‘A fitness trail would be a great idea,” ”said Troyer.

This is exactly why Hillsborough County set up a mini-grant program, which has now been in existence for over 20 years.

“Let’s face it, we’ve come out of a very difficult pandemic and it still has lasting effects so it’s kinda nice for them to be able to say, ‘you know what we can do these things and let’s move on. and let’s go this grant, ”said Stephanie Agliano of Hillsborough County.

The River Hills trails were exactly the type of project the county was looking for. River Hills received a grant of $ 5,000.

“We want a goal and every neighborhood is different, so their goal will be different,” said Agliano.

Troyer and Smith said the trail not only strengthens residents physically, but also strengthens the community as a whole by bringing people together.

“Oh absolutely, we see people here every day working, using the stations, just going for a hike and enjoying the river,” Smith said.

“Just with what everyone in the country was dealing with with COVID and that made it possible for people to come out and not isolate themselves, to be outside with nature,” Troyer said.

Each year, Hillsborough County reopens the program. In 2022, they are looking to distribute $ 75,000 in grants for 20 to 30 neighborhood projects across the county. Grants can go up to $ 5,000.

“What is the history of your neighborhood and what is your heritage? What are you going to put in place that will last, ”Agliano said.

The deadline to apply for a mini-grant is December 17 at 5 p.m. For more information on the application process, visit www.hcflgov.net minigrant.


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