Coffey Strong is grateful for the support of United Way of the Wine Country’s Wildfire Recovery and Resilience Neighborhood Grants Program (WRNGP), which has awarded ten grants ranging from $4,000 to $25,000 for projects to help residents rebuild and recover from the October 2017 wildfires and build the resiliency necessary to address future disasters in some cases. The funds received from this grant will be applied to the restoration of landscaping work at the corner of Hopper Avenue and Coffey Lane, a community hub and entryway to our neighborhood.
Coffey Strong applied for the grant after months of working with Firma Design Group, who donated their services to create a landscape plan that would be beautiful, easy to maintain and provide a space for five memorial cherry trees to grow in memory of lives lost in Coffey Park on the night of the Tubbs Fire. Three of those trees were planted in time for the one year remembrance, with the others to come when the land is ready. The United Way grant provides a great foundation for the project, which still needs an additional $50,000 to reach full funding.
United Way of the Wine Country (UWWC) had $100,000 available for grant funding and received 35 applications totaling $1.6 million dollars. A volunteer grants review committee made up of UWWC Board members and community partners ranked the applications and made funding recommendations based on criteria such as need, impact, and ability to leverage other resources. Based on committee recommendations, the UWWC Board of Directors approved the allocation of an additional $48,100 for the grant program, raising total allocable grant funds to $148,100.
Some of the needs and projects identified by the residents and approved for funding include: rebuilding community spaces, fences, and walls; regreening neighborhoods; and paying for the cost to facilitate community meetings and events (e.g. space rentals, food, communication, etc.).
Recipients of UWWC’s WRNGP grants are: Larkfield Resilience Fund; Mark West Estates Owners Association; Coffey Strong, Inc.; Berry Brook Homeowners Association; Wilshire Heights Mutual Water Company; Glen Ellen Forum; Alexander Valley Citizens League; O’Donnell Lane Community Group; Journey’s End; and Dover Court Chain Gang. The WRNGP was a competitive grants program of UWWC in partnership with Sonoma Clean Power. Any resident- or community-led group made up of five or more households in Sonoma County was eligible to apply.
For more information about United Way, please visit unitedwaywinecountry.org, and for more information about Sonoma Clean Power, please visit sonomacleanpower.org.
Coffey Strong is a group of volunteers from our neighborhood who are helping rebuild the community of Coffey Park with information sharing, mutual support and collaborative initiatives like this one. To help close the funding gap for the Entryway to Coffey Park landscaping project, make a donation to Coffey Strong on our website: www.coffeystrong.com/fundraising