Often times, it’s the little things that matter most.
For several years, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and Region 10 have helped local governments achieve those little things through Small Changes Community Development Grants. With annual awards of $5,000, local communities have used these funds for a variety of small scale projects, from Main Street beautification to town signage.
Below are just a few examples of Small Changes projects and testimonials from local governments.
Town of Ridgway: Townie Tuesday Picture Show
The Town of Ridgway leveraged Small Changes to purchase and install an outdoor movie system. The system includes a console, sound system, inflatable screen, projector, and projector stand.
Prior to this purchase, the town staff used a large bed sheet as a screen for the films.
With some wise budgeting and gathering of local in-kind donations, Ridgway was able to leverage a total of $11,000 with the Small Changes Grant to make this project come to fruition. The end result: A fun-filled local event that encourages local residents to spend an evening downtown, not only attending a community event but also patronizing local businesses during their visit.
Town of Norwood: Beautification Project
The Town of Norwood was in need of creating a downtown atmosphere that local residents could take pride in. Town staff created a phased plan to enhances the visual appeal of Norwood’s downtown corridor.
The first phase of the project, which was financed by Small Changes, involved purchasing 12 flower baskets, 30 banners, and hardware to install everything. Flowers were planted. The multiple banners presented seasonal messaging that could be easily swapped each quarter.
“The ‘Small Changes’ funding was instrumental in getting the Norwood Beautifucation project going,” states Patti Grafmyer, Town Administrator. “And once Phase 1 was in progress, we could see the community pride begin to grow and blossom, just as the flowers did in the baskets.”
Town of Cedaredge: Grand Mesa Trail enhancement
Town of Cedaredge has leveraged the Small Changes Grant several times. Most recently, they used funds from the program to improve their Grand Mesa Trail head. Adding landscaping and a benches for walkers to rest, the Town of Cedaredge has received many compliments on these improvements.
Town staff found the application process to be user friendly. “The process for the application is fairly simple,” adds Town Administrator Katie Sickles. “The amount is perfect to take a community idea, build on town goals, and develop a plan or complete a project citizens have requested.”
Town of Olathe: Town Signage Project
The Town of Olathe needed to be visible to the passing travelers and valued by its community members. What better way to do this for Olathe than to build a sign stating that there is an actual town right off Highway 50, not just a traffic light to slow your travel? The Town of Olathe and many dedicated community members and businesses helped in designing and erecting a new Town sign at its entrance. This sign brings a community to the otherwise traffic light that slows commuters and sight-seeing travelers.
For more information and details of eligibility, please visit www.region10.net/smallchangesgrant.