Five organization in the Argonaut distribution area are among six local and nearby organizations that recently received City of Los Angeles grants for projects that improve and beautify local neighborhoods.

The six community-based organizations in Venice, Westchester, Mar Vista and Pacific Palisades will receive a total of $57,368 as part of the Community Beautification Grant program, administered by the city’s Board of Public Works.

The organizations plan to use the money for projects that are intended to promote the reduction of waste in landfills and storm water systems; enable schoolchildren to paint vibrant murals; integrate gardening skills in the classroom; and help purchase new playground and park equipment.

“Congratulations to the recipients of the Community Beautification Grants, and thank you to all whom applied,” City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said. “It is people and organizations like these that make Los Angeles a better place to live and work.”

The five local organizations and their planned projects within the Argonaut coverage area are:

— The Venice Canals Association, which will purchase and install a shade system and new playground equipment for the neighborhood mini-park heavily used by children;

— The Venice Public Art Forum, which will build a sculptured seating area titled “The Venice Mosaic Eggs” at their site located at 522 Venice Blvd. The group also plans to transform the landscaping into a welcoming neighborhood corner park;

— Friends of Walgrove Booster Club, which will paint colorful maps on the asphalt in the center courtyard at Walgrove Elementary School. The murals will complement the pavement, landscaping and benches installed with the help of a previous grant;

— Friends of Westminster Avenue Garden, which plans to double the size of the existing Ladybug Learning Garden to facilitate garden projects and replace the chain-link fence with a wood fence that will beautify the schoolyard; and

— The Westport Heights Booster Club and Westchester/ Playa Education Foundation, which will turn their unkempt garden into an Outdoor Learning Center, an interactive, green outdoor classroom. The organization also plans to build more shaded seating and post the names of sponsored planters outside their classroom doors.

The Community Beautification Grant program is a competitive annual matching grant of up to $10,000, awarded to community groups to fund neighborhood beautification projects.

This year, the Board of Public Works received 215 grant applications and awarded 88 grants throughout the city. The program has funded over 775 community-based projects since 1998.

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