Three Venice organizations are among the 89 neighborhood groups and community-based organizations that were selected by the Los Angeles Board of Public Works to receive this year’s Community Beautification Grants.

Administered by the Board of Public Works Office of Community Beautification, the annual matching grants of up to $10,000 were awarded through a competitive selection process and granted to qualified groups that submitted an application to improve a neglected area in the City of Los Angeles.

The Venice organizations selected included the Venice Canals Association for its “Patterns of Protection” project, the Venice Public Art Forum for its Venice Mosaic Eggs Corner Park project and the Friends of Westminster Avenue Garden for its Ladybug Learning Garden.

“I am very pleased to join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the members of the Los Angeles City Council in recognizing this program milestone and the achievements of the grant awardees that mark its tenth anniversary,” said Cynthia M. Ruiz, president of the Board of Public Works. “The board takes great pleasure in recognizing local neighborhood groups, businesses, schools and other community organizations that build local capacity and initiate volunteer action to make community improvements for a better quality of life and a more beautiful Los Angeles.”

In the ten years since the grants began in 1998, the program has completed more than 840 projects in partnership with the community. More than $4.8 million in grants have been awarded to neighborhood groups and more than $8 million has been contributed by the grant awardees in donations, labor and materials, according to the Board of Public Works.

More than $12.8 million in community improvements were generated to beautify the city while advancing volunteer action and individual responsibility for a cleaner and greener Los Angeles.

“The range of the grant program’s influence reaches local groups citywide to leverage the public’s in-kind work and donations, dollar for dollar, with a match to transform abandoned and neglected areas in the city,” said Paul Racs, director of the Office of Community Beautification. “The cost advantage to the city is at least a threefold return with the delivery of beautification projects that provides a multiple of the original grant amount.

“The added intangible value is the difference between residents taking ownership to enhance an area of the city and the absence of that civic participation.”

The Community Beautification Grant cycle begins in July and closes in October. Proposals accepted from community-based organizations, a group of five or more individuals, must reside, work or take an interest in beautifying a neighborhood in the city.

Information, www.laocb.org/.

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