MANHATTAN, Kan. – Installing park benches or adding a sign to the outskirts of town may seem like small steps, but in some rural Kansas communities, they are part of a bigger effort to enhance the quality of life for the area’s citizens.
For their work, several Kansas communities have been honored with awards for 2018. The awards were given by the Kansas PRIDE Program, a partnership of K-State Research and Extension, the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Kansas Masons, and Kansas PRIDE, Inc.
Through the program, communities identify what they want to preserve, create, or improve for the future. Volunteers form a local PRIDE organization that works with K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Commerce to accomplish its goals.
“Kansas PRIDE is a volunteer-led organization. These awards allow an opportunity to highlight the hard work the volunteers provide for their communities and the state,” said Jaime Menon, Kansas PRIDE Program co-coordinator. “Each community has its own unique structure, culture, and assets, and Kansas PRIDE volunteers work to bring out the best in their communities and promote what they have to offer. Through the work of these volunteers, Kansas communities continue to thrive and be a great place to live and raise a family.”
Three Kansas PRIDE Project Excellence Awards were given in recognition of a special project.
- Alton PRIDE – City Park Improvements
- Perry PRIDE – Patriotic Mural
- Potwin PRIDE – Ball Light Project
Several communities have also received grants from the Kansas PRIDE Program to assist in funding various projects.
Kansas PRIDE Community Growth Grants of up to $200 each were awarded to the following communities and their projects:
- Macksville – Event Celebration
- Savonburg – Historical Booklet
Kansas PRIDE Community of Action Grants were awarded to five local PRIDE organizations for the following projects:
- Alton – Park Benches ($1,650)
- Grainfield – Office Building Flooring ($1,000)
- Iola – Directional Signage ($1,465)
- Perry – Signage Project ($1,000)
- Larned – Bench Project ($1,600)
The Community of Action Grant replaces the Partners in PRIDE grant program which came to a close in 2017. During the period of 2010 – 2017, more than $66,000 were awarded to Partners in PRIDE recipients. Today, the Community of Action Grant offers a one-to-one match with communities that can provide funding up to the maximum amount of $2,000 per project for PRIDE Communities that qualify. Community of Action Grant applications are available in two rounds of funding per year.
Community Promotion Grants are a new opportunity in 2018 through PRIDE’s partnership with the Kansas Masons. This year’s grant was awarded to Iola for promotional brochures.