On April 9, Leslie Science & Nature Center (LSNC) will be awarded a $15,000 Sustaining Ann Arbor Together (SA2T) grant from the City of Ann Arbor for an outdoor play space where imaginative learning experiences will engage and inspire young minds to respect and understand their natural world through designing and installing an inclusive Nature Playscape.
Thanks to grant funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Toyota Research & Development HQ and the City of Ann Arbor, this project is in the final design and initial construction phase. It will be located in the wooded area behind the DTE Energy House and will be accessible to all. The SA2T grant will assist LSNC in completing the initial ground movement and base trail for the project. LSNC is working with Michigan Recreational Construction, Inc. on the project design and build.
A public meeting about the project will take place April 30, 2019, from 6-8 p.m. in the DTE Energy House located at LSNC (1831 Traver Rd.) The public is invited to attend this meeting and learn more details about the project and have the opportunity for dialogue and feedback.
“The LSNC Nature Playscape is a great fit for the SA2T grant program because of its inclusive design as well as its intent to inspire kids to respect nature and ultimately think about ways we should be protecting it,” said City of Ann Arbor Sustainability and Innovations Manager Missy Stults. “I can’t wait to see the final product and bring my daughter to play there.”
SA2T Grant Program
On Feb. 19, 2013, Ann Arbor City Council adopted the Sustainability Framework as an element of the City of Ann Arbor Master Plan, which has four key categories: Climate and Energy Goals; Community Goals; Land Use and Access Goals; and Resource Management Goals. The SA2T grant program is intended to promote and resource community-based activities in support of the Sustainability Framework’s goals.
The City of Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovation oversees the SA2T program, which assists neighborhood groups to develop, resource and complete small-scale improvement projects in the city’s rights-of-way or on publicly owned property, including Ann Arbor Public School property. The total annual grant program funding is $100,000.
Grant applicants must fall into one of the following categories to be eligible for a SA2T grant:
Neighborhood associations (registered with the City of Ann Arbor Planning Services Area);
Civic and community service associations (e.g., scouting, youth athletic associations, bicycling or rowing clubs, fraternal organizations, environmental conservancies or community gardens);
Educational, ethnic, cultural or religious organizations (e.g., colleges, school associations, places of worship); or
There is an online grant application available on the city’s website, which also must include the following:
Completed and signed application form and scope of work for the project and associated technical documents;
Project cost estimate;
Cost-sharing proposal (if any);
Projected maintenance costs and sources and responsibility for future maintenance costs;
Evidence of support from impacted stakeholders;
Evidence that the proposed location for any temporary or fixed installation is suitable for proposed use in the city’s right of way or other public land; and
Statement describing the benefits that will result from the project and how the results will be measured and evaluated.
The city sustainability and innovations office reviews SA2T applications twice a year. Applications not accepted for a grant will automatically be reconsidered at the next evaluation, unless withdrawn.
Sustainability and Innovations Manager