We Make Our Future with Neighborhood Mini-Grants!

Help empower local citizen groups with seed money for an inspiring diversity of sustainability projects. It's people power making a difference locally!

A fundraising campaign for Sustainable Tompkins

About our Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program

Since 2008, the Neighborhood Mini-grants program has awarded over $60,000 to support almost 160 innovative, grassroots projects throughout Tompkins County. Our goal is to support and stimulate resident-based, “bottom-up” initiatives that improve the quality of life of residents by building capacity, resilience, and leadership through collaborative projects. Eligible applicants are residents of Tompkins County, including neighborhood or community organizations, newly formed groups of neighbors with a specific project in mind, or civic-minded individuals who can show community support for their project. Grants are for small, relatively simple projects that in some way support, or “seed”, greater equity, self-sufficiency, and lasting social, economic and environmental health.  Applications are reviewed quarterly by the Mini-Grant Council, comprised of local citizens and members of Sustainable Tompkins' board and staff.

We need your help...

Sustainable Tompkins is busy looking for new sponsors for our Mini-Grant program, but we will need to match that with support from the community if we are going to continue funding these innovative, grassroots projects.  We were able to fund the 2016 rounds thanks to community support.  With your help, we can continue the program in 2017.  

Here's a sampling of some our recent mini-grants:

  • The Youth Farm Project is building a mobile farm stand to bring low-cost, local and organic produce to low-income areas of the Ithaca community.
  • ¡BiciCocina! is investing in an electric cargo bike to reduce car use and expand the reach of this mobile vendor of South American food, while promoting bicycle use to customers and community. 
  • One family will install plants and signage at a newly-created pollinator garden in the Northeast Ithaca neighborhood, for public education and community building.
  • Sew Green purchased six used sewing machines for an after-school sewing program at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School to teach students to sew (with assistance from teen and adult volunteers).
  • Rootwork Herbals will fund scholarships for a six-month course on the use of local herbs for food and medicine. Scholarships make the course more accessible to people of color and people from low-income households.
  • Another family will purchase tents, tables, chairs, and a produce scale for a new "pop-up" farmers' market and community children's garden in the Village of Freeville. 

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