A multicultural Canada Day gathering was just one of the many block parties hosted in Maple Ridge last year.

Build connections, grow community with the Neighbourhood Small Grants Program.

City of Maple Ridge and funding partner, Vancouver Foundation, support local projects, block parties

Is it time to get to know your neighbours better? Maybe your street is primed for a multicultural potluck BBQ or a neighbourhood clean-up and yard sale event? Perhaps you are interested in creating a community garden or neighbourhood compost centre?

The Neighbourhood Small Grants program can help you do it.

Now in its third year, the program provides small grants from the City of Maple Ridge for block parties and neighbourhood projects. The Vancouver Foundation supports the program with funding through the Neighbourhood Small Grants program.


Last year, the Vancouver Foundation revisited its five-year-old Connect and Engage survey to see what had changed.

While participation in almost every community-related activity had dropped since 2012, three-quarters of residents still take part in some way to make their community a better place to live.

Other key findings:

● Approximately two-thirds report a sense of trust among neighbours, feel welcome, and experience a sense of belonging, but about half continue to find it difficult to make friends, and approximately one in four still find themselves alone more often than they would like.

● Residents of every demographic prefer to connect in-person. Less than one-in-five feel they spend too much time with technology, and more than half use technology to connect with people and friends in the community.

● Most people want to get to know their neighbours better – even more so among those who have lived here for the shortest period. Events such as social gatherings, festivals, and participating in a local project are the most popular ways for neighbours to meet and form connections.

Neighbourhood Small Grants range from $100 to $500, with support up to $1,000 in special circumstances. With applications evaluated by a committee of residents with diverse backgrounds and experiences, popular initiatives include multicultural potlucks, newcomer welcome parties, street hockey parties and garden projects.

One neighbourhood built a library box for sharing books. “Kids talk about the library box at school and in summer they will bike to the library box to check out books or simply meet,” wrote one resident.

The program funded 30 block parties and eight projects last year – opportunities for residents to get to know each other, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of ownership and pride and celebrate diversity in their neighbourhood.

“Our … neighbourhood has grown together to help each other, have social events, develop friendships and be there to help one another where there are issues concerning our neighbourhood,” wrote one grant recipient. “In times of trouble, many members of the group will step up and help one another. The unintended outcomes have been most rewarding.”

The deadline for Neighbourhood Small Grant applications is April 9. Block party funding is also available, with applications accepted until Dec. 1 on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about the Maple Ridge Neighbourhood Small Grants criteria and application information online, call Kathryn Baird at 604-467-7459 or email neighbours@mapleridge.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Maple Ridge Mounties hope someone recognizes this vandal

At least 25 vehicles were damaged overnight Saturday to Sunday in a north Maple Ridge neighbourhood

Pitt Meadows film premiere offers hope to people with learning disabilities

In Normal Isn’t Real four subjects who have learning disabilities and ADHD, share their success stories

Marching for those who’ve disappeared

Fifth annual event in Memorial Peace Park

Letter: Other cities have declared climate emergencies

Maple Ridge should do what’s right for our planet

Elementary students are hoping the city will recognize Real Acts of Caring week

Pitt Meadows students participate in Real Acts of Caring week

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

VIDEO: Giants win 10th straight on home ice in Langley

Family Day was about spending time with the fans and dazzling them with a 3-2 victory over Seattle

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Most Read