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Neighboroots: Growing Pride In Place

“Each neighborhood has a story to tell.”

Last Tuesday, Mayor Andy Berke was joined by District 8 Councilman Anthony Byrd as they addressed neighborhood leaders and community members at Carver Youth and Family Development Center about the importance of neighborhoods.

“There are good guys and heroes, but there are also villains. There are great stories of accomplishment. There are also stories of loss,” Mayor Berke said. “We need to make sure that in our city we share all those stories, because those are what shape the neighborhood.”

This is why Mayor Berke launched a new initiative called, “Neighboroots,” which will honor and preserve the people, places, and events that helped shape Chattanooga’s neighborhoods.

The city will fund three types of projects under Neighboroots:

  • Three historical markers at around $5,000 each with costs for a historian, sign design, fabrication, and installation.
  • One $2,500 performance grant.
  • And one public art project for Fiscal Year 2020, the cost of which will vary by proposals.

“No matter where you live, no matter what you do you should feel great about the place you live,” Mayor Berke said. “A few years ago, a community leader named Michael Gilland came up with an idea for putting in neighborhood historical markers to share the story of where you live, so we built on that great idea. Neighboroots understands that all of our communities have a story to tell.”

The city will accept applications every six months and select top projects to be completed using funds from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund, which was established in 2018 for the betterment of communities.

Projects will be reviewed by the Neighboroots Committee, who will advise Mayor Berke generally on the Neighboroots initiative, as well as reviewing, evaluating, and recommending projects for funding and implementation. Specific subcommittees will lend special expertise in evaluating the performance, public art, and historical marker applications.

The first application cycle is open until Friday, Sept. 6. Applications can come from individuals or groups. You can find more details and apply online at connect.chattanooga.gov/neighboroots/.

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