Many community-greening volunteers in Manayunk, Roxborough and East Falls work year-round to plant trees, restore trails, pick up trash and improve overall green space along the Schuylkill River.
Oftentimes, their only recourse for funding is to compete against other local organizations for a community or citywide grant. This year, they are trying something different.
With the help of Destination Schuylkill River, local volunteers are taking a collaborative and grassroots approach to fundraising by hosting their own events to raise money for a local mini-grant program, which volunteer groups can dip into.
“There are a lot of bigger grants out there,” said Annie Scott, project manager for Destination Schuylkill River. “But we’re hoping to make money available for very small grants for these groups.”
The first fundraiser, “Hang out to help out,” will be held on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Bourbon Blue in Manayunk. The event will feature live bluegrass music from the Keystone Mountain Boys, drink specials, appetizers and a silent auction, which will include works from Orbit Art Gallery, Celeste Hardester Photography and Shaun Yasaki.
All funds raised will be used to support the new mini-grant initiative, which will help local volunteer groups pay for tools, plant materials and supplies.
Scott says it’s a way for volunteer organizations in Manayunk, East Falls, Shawmont and Lower Merion to support each other’s work.
“A lot of different groups have done their own fundraisers,” Scott said. “But we think doing it as a collective will be more effective.”
So far, the participating groups include Umbria Street Neighbors, Friends of the Ivy Ridge Trail, Friends of Germany Hill, Friends of Inn Yard Park, Friends of Pretzel Park and Lower Merion Historical Society.
“It’s extremely important for storm water management, recreation, beautifying our neighborhood and making our community a special place to live,” Scott said.
The first event will take place at Bourbon Blue, 2 Rector St., in Manayunk from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5. Guests are encouraged to donate $20 at the door or online. For more information, visit destinationschuylkillriver.org.