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KAB announces mini-grants available to local youth

By By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Jan. 23, 2002
Local youth will have an opportunity to improve the community's beauty and learn about the environment through mini-grants announced Tuesday.
The Meridian and Lauderdale County affiliate of Keep America Beautiful will make up to $10,000 available, with $1,000 to each applicant on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Keep America Beautiful Youth Mini-Grants Program, now in its third year, provides seed money for local initiatives in environmental education, litter control and community beautification.
Deadline approaches
This year's deadline to apply for funding is 5 p.m. March 29 in the Keep America Beautiful office on the third floor of Meridian City Hall.
Past applicants must file a follow-up report on their last project to participate again. Applicants have until Feb. 15 to file that report.
Beverly Knox, Keep America Beautiful coordinator, said youth groups "may apply to continue a previous mini-grant project or apply to fund a totally new project."
Projects must be started, but not necessarily finished, by May 2003.
Groups may only submit one application each year and can receive all or part of their requested amount if approved for participation. Priority will go to applications showing hands-on involvement of youth.
Examples of acceptable projects include:
outdoor classrooms, nature trails and butterfly gardens for environmental education;
wildlife habitat, expressive arts with environmental themes, conservation field days held in Lauderdale County;
environmental camps, with preference given to those within Lauderdale County;
school or community beautification (flower or vegetable gardens or landscapes).
Tool bank
Jones said that tools will not be included in applications this year. To make provisions for tool supplies, she said $1,000 has been designated for a tool bank; grant recipients can borrow tools from the bank for work on their projects.
Grant winners will be announced at an awards luncheon later this year. All projects will be judged and evaluated. Special recognition for outstanding projects will be given in April.
Knox said that, to her knowledge, the Meridian-Lauderdale County affiliate of Keep America Beautiful is the only county program that offers the youth mini-grant.
Education is a primary focus of the grants program said Marjorie Davison, a member of the local Keep America Beautiful board of directors.
JUST THE FACTS
What: Youth Mini-Grants
Why: To provide seed money for local initiatives in environmental education and community beautification.
Who: Keep America Beautiful Meridian-Lauderdale County affiliate.
Eligible: Any youth group, school club, church youth group.
Amount: Up to $1,000 available to each applicant.
Application deadline: 5 p.m. March 29.
Where: Third Floor, Meridian City Hall
More information: 485-1996

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