In order to jump-start community projects, one local agency is awarding its services in the form of grants.
San Diego-based Nowell+Associates Landscape Architecture, Inc. recently awarded the first four grants as part of its new DesignGrants program.
The program is open to all registered nonprofit organizations located and serving San Diego County. DesignGrants are awarded based on urgency of need, community benefit derived and project feasibility.
The landscape design and planning firm awarded $20,000 worth of professional consulting and design services to Casa Familiar, North Park Main Street, the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department and the Kearny Mesa Planning Group.
“Our objective with DesignGrants is to offer professional landscape design and planning services to help deserving projects get off to a good start,” according to Greg Nowell, the firm’s principal.
“We look forward to the opportunity to lend our services back to the community which supports us.”
– Casa Familiar’s Aid
Helps Keep Costs Down
Casa Familiar, which develops affordable housing in San Ysidro, is receiving design, landscape and irrigation plans for eight homes in the Casitas de la Florecitas project.
The grant, which is worth about $4,000 or 60 hours of service, will help “maintain the affordability” of the homes, said Michael Freedman, Casa Familiar’s community development manager.
Casa Familiar is seeking another grant for the landscaping of the property, although Casa Familiar may pay for the work to be done, he said.
Once completed, the agency will sell the homes for a little more than the actual cost of building them, Freedman said.
Another grant will provide a conceptual plan for decorative sidewalks and streetscape improvement along University Avenue. The plans will help North Park Main Street, an association of business and community leaders, with its fund-raising efforts to revitalize the older commercial district, according to Jay Turner, executive director of the group.
– Grant Saves About
$4,000 On Project
The grant is valued at $6,000 and Turner said it could have cost $10,000 or more without it.
The improvement plans along the avenue will include areas from Illinois Street to Iowa Street and from Grim Avenue to 31st Street.
Turner also said that the grant would help keep the cost of revitalization efforts down.
Another grant will assist the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department with a project for Presidio Park. The grant will cover the design of a walkway, lighting, irrigation, signs and landscaping for the historical core of the park.
Nowell’s “professional vision and creativity provides the ‘wow’ factor which will help us achieve our goal of sharing this important site,” said park ranger Mick Calaro.
This type of image is just as important to the Kearny Mesa Planning Group, which wants to enhance the area by adding community entrance and identification signs as well as landscaping for four area freeway entries. The project aims to set a theme for future beautification projects in the area.
– Professional Designs
Project Area’s Image
“With professionally conceived concepts and design drawings, we will be able to show the City Council just what we would like to do to project the image of Kearny Mesa to those who come here,” said Glen Best, executive member of the group.
Grants cover a wide range of services typically needed at the early stages of a project such as site planning, disabled accessibility, landscaping, and preparation of exhibits and applications needed for construction funding submissions.
Nowell is accepting applications for 2001 grants. To receive an application, E-mail Diane Bright at (DBright@nowellassociates.com).