Program gives local groups an opportunity to give back to their community while earning money
The Calhoun County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) is accepting applications for its Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance Program (NMM). Applications are available at the Land Bank office and online and are due by March 15.
“The Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance Program has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several years and we are hoping to build upon that success again this year,” said Krista Trout-Edwards, Calhoun County Land Bank executive director. “The program is a great way for community groups and volunteers to give back to their community by mowing and maintaining lots owned by the Land Bank, which helps beautify our neighborhoods.”
The Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance program provides community groups the opportunity to earn funds for neighborhood projects, youth group activities, nonprofit events and other community efforts by mowing and maintaining vacant properties owned by the CCLBA. By agreeing to mow and maintain 20 vacant properties from April to October, participating groups will earn a seasonal stipend of $3,000.
In 2017, seven community groups beautified nearly 300 vacant lots in Battle Creek and Albion. Three of the seven groups were new to the program, including Albion’s first NMM crew.
“We are proud to partner with the Land Bank to improve Battle Creek neighborhoods, one lot at a time,” said Marshall Fisher, leader of the students with Second Missionary Baptist Church. “Our volunteers are primarily high school students and this program helps teach responsibility and good stewardship while also providing the kids a paycheck and an opportunity to build a work ethic. It’s been a win-win for us.”
Groups participating in the program are required to provide their own equipment, fuel and supplies. For most properties, lawn mowers and weed trimmers are sufficient although rakes, shovels and yard waste bags are also recommended. Gloves, goggles, appropriate footwear and other safety measures are highly advised and are the responsibility of the group.
Applications and more information are available by contacting the CCLBA at (269) 781-0777 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to apply for the 2018 season is March 15. Groups must have liability insurance and a group bank account. Payments will not be made to individuals.
The Calhoun County Land Bank Authority is a separate legal authority that collaborates closely with the Calhoun County Treasurer and local municipalities to eliminate blight, improve downtowns and promote local economic development.