Last year, the Wilson Hill neighborhood started a bulletin board for news about the area.

Last year, the Wilson Hill neighborhood started a bulletin board for news about the area.

Neighbors on Kenbrook Drive and Foster Avenue held an intergenerational picnic at the park. Bowerman residents started a block watch to make their street safer.

All three projects were funded with Worthington Neighborhood Development grants, a program to provide financial incentives and create opportunities for neighbors to work together, form neighborhood organizations, make improvements in their neighborhoods and/or develop programs that promote neighborhood cohesiveness.

Neighbors could start up a civic group in their neighborhood or work on a beautification project on their street with money supplied by the city.

Now is the time to apply for a grant of up to $500. They will be awarded for projects that demonstrate a public benefit and promote neighborhood identity; aid in the development of a neighborhood organization; increase neighborhood safety; implement neighborhood beautification efforts; or build a sense of community in neighborhoods.

Grant applications are being accepted through April 30. Applications will be reviewed during May, and funds will be awarded by May 31. The grant application packet may be downloaded online at Residents also may pick up the packets at the Worthington Municipal Building, 6550 N. High St., during regular business hours. For questions, or more information, call Lori Trego at 614-854-7171 or email

City Council and the Community Relations Commission began the grant program in 2008 to help strengthen Worthington neighborhoods.

The Wilson Hill bulletin board project, for $370, allowed neighbors to band to erect a community bulletin board to be used to encourage neighborhood communication regarding safety and other neighborhood event information and as a project to build neighborhood connections.

The Kenbrook/Foster community project, for $379, was called "Picnic in the Park," which was a neighborhood gathering to help neighbors to get to know each other, particularly as an opportunity for young families to interact with retirees in the neighborhood.

Initial neighborhood gatherings could be the starting point for other neighborhood activities and the formation of neighborhood associations, said Trego, the city's personnel director who was active in developing the program.

The Bowerman block watch used $275 in grant funds to start a neighborhood block watch, which has included meeting materials, brochures and scheduling programs on self-defense, home security and Internet safety. This group mentioned that the objective of the Bowerman block watch was to build connections and help crime prevention "through social, safety and security events and neighborly relationships," Trego said.