Leirion Gaylor Baird announced Thursday that she will seek to identify philanthropic and nonprofit partners to create a Neighborhood Grants Program if elected mayor.

Eligible projects would improve the safety, beauty, and organization of neighborhoods and spark conversations with neighbors to work together that would lead to meaningful results.

For example, she said, the grants could be used to develop community gardens, make local park improvements, host neighborhood socials, or support pop-up markets. “By strengthening neighborhoods, these projects will enhance public safety and the vitality of our city.”

Grant recipients would be expected to match the grants with either funds, materials and supplies, or an equal number volunteer hours.

“Our neighborhoods play a key role in fostering our sense of community,” said Gaylor Baird. “As Lincoln grows, it is important that we strive to maintain our high quality of life, a quality reminiscent of life in smaller towns where everyone knows and helps their neighbors. Investing in neighborhoods, and in projects that empower our residents to make a difference on the block where they live, is a step toward that ideal.”

Gaylor Baird said it would be important to find private partners to help realize this vision. “The Neighborhood Grants Program is one way to improve life in Lincoln without straining our budget. As mayor, I will be committed to creating innovative partnerships that strengthen neighborhoods and build community.”

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