The National Association of REALTORS® Placemaking Grant has been around since 2014 and NAR has provided over $1.4 million in funding to help build pocket parks, community gardens, trails, parklets, dog parks, and alley activations.
The Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new, outdoor public spaces and destinations in a community. While the grant is only available to state and local REALTOR® Associations, many Associations partner with others in their community, such as cities, Main Street organizations, parks & recreation agencies, arts and cultural organizations, community coalitions, etc.
Hopefully, this is the year you are thinking about using our Placemaking Grant to transform an underutilized or unused site into a vibrant, welcoming place for the community to gather. And to give you some ideas, here are some of my favorite placemaking projects that REALTOR® Associations helped to build in their communities.
Storybook Trail: Coeur d’Alene REALTORS® Bring a “Storybook Trail” to Growing Community
The Coeur d’Alene REALTOR® association wanted to use one of the REALTOR® Party’s Smart Growth Action Grants to help a local community where its members live and work. Working together with the City of Rathdrum, Idaho, they planned and built a ‘Storybook Trail’ at the base of Rathdrum Mountain.
Trailhead Pocket Park: REALTORS® Help Welcome Visitors to Sutton Bay
Traverse Area Association of Realtor created a unique community welcoming pocket park and trailhead rest spot. REALTORS® work to improve health and quality of life in communities across the country.
Neighborhood Pocket Park: St. Louis City Community Park: A celebration of a Special Neighborhood and the REALTOR® Spirit
The St. Louis REALTORS® transformed a vacant piece of land within the St. Louis Greater Ville neighborhood into a community park. The St. Louis Greater Ville neighborhood is a historic community of homes and businesses located in North St. Louis, Missouri. The park was a perfect fit for the vacant lot to create a welcoming destination for the whole community.
Island Park: REALTORS® Bring an Island its First Park
A group of REALTORS® and association staff traveled to an island to help build the island’s only park on a vacant, abandoned lot currently owned by the local fire department. The pocket park features picnic tables, benches, a bicycle rack, trash receptacles, and landscaping that can stand up to sometimes rough island conditions.
Downtown Pocket Park: Pocket Park – Big Mission!
The Paducah Board of REALTORS® has worked with the Paducah Mainstreet program in Paducah on several projects and was thrilled to be involved in the new Pocket Park on our historic Market Street. We are proud that the Placemaking Micro-grant that we received from NAR helped to transform this vacant concrete lot into a showcase for art created by our local artists, many of which have located here from all over the country to live in our downtown arts district. This park will provide a great place to sit and relax, and take in our wonderful downtown, for both residents and visitors.
Dog Park: Hopkinsville, KY Goes to the Dogs with the Help of a Placemaking Grant
On June 2, 2016, the Hopkinsville Dog Park was opened by an official ribbon cutting ceremony, with plenty of dogs in attendance, ready to romp. It was all the idea of the 56-member Hopkinsville Christian & Todd County Association of REALTORS® and a Placemaking Micro-Grant from the REALTOR® Party helped make it a reality.
Community Garden: Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS®
Nearly 600 REALTORS® from the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® (WRAR) participated in its second annual REALTOR® Action Day—aka “RAD.” From playing music at senior centers to planting plants and clean-up and landscaping projects, RAD was full of WRAR members working to improve their community. Nearly 100 participants built a community garden with park benches and a tool shed using a $3,000 Placemaking Micro-grant.
Pedestrian Street Plaza: Greater Nashville REALTORS® Put Placemaking Grant to Work for Pedestrian Plaza
With vision, elbow grease, and a Placemaking Grant, Greater Nashville REALTORS® partnered with a local civic design organization to transform a dismal traffic triangle into a cheerful, safer pedestrian refuge.