It's the dead of winter, and oh how I long to mow lawn instead of shoveling and blowing snow!    I just found out about a program here in Calhoun County where community groups can help beautify the community and earn some cash from their organizations this summer.  Now is the time to apply!

Calhoun County Land Bank offering program to help local groups raise money

Following the success of the 2015 Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance Program, the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) announced that the program will take place again this year. Applications are available at the Calhoun County Lank Bank Office and online, and are due by February 10.

“The Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance Program benefits everyone—neighborhoods are improved, local groups earn money and taxpayer dollars are conserved,” said Land Bank Board Chair and County Treasurer, Christine Schauer. “I’m urging groups to submit applications for this year’s program and am excited to build and strengthen partnerships within neighborhoods, all while improving properties throughout Calhoun County.”

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The Neighborhood Mow and Maintenance program provides community groups the opportunity to earn funds for neighborhood projects, youth group activities, nonprofit events and other community efforts by mowing and maintaining vacant properties owned by the CCLBA. By agreeing to mow and maintain 20 vacant properties from April to October, participating groups will earn a seasonal stipend of $3,000. More information and applications are available on the Land Bank website.

Participants of the 2015 program mowed 200 lots in Calhoun County, and called Neighborhood Mow and Maintenance a huge success.

“We at Griffon Rugby are happy to have partnered with the Land Bank to improve our community,” said Chris Jones, Battle Creek Griffon Rugby Football Club Social Director and Treasurer. “Giving back is a primary focus for our organization.  The Neighborhood Mow & Maintenance Program was a way for us to give through service and, with the stipend, allowed us to sponsor other community driven activities.  It was a win-win for us and we’re looking forward to the 2016 mowing season.”

Groups participating in the program are required to provide their own equipment, fuel and supplies. For most properties, lawn mowers and weed trimmers are sufficient although rakes, shovels and yard waste bags are also recommended. Gloves, goggles, appropriate footwear and other safety measures are highly advised and are the responsibility of the group.

Applications and more information are available by contacting the CCLBA at (269) 781-0777 or by email at landbank@calhouncountymi.gov. The deadline to apply for the 2016 season is February 10, 2016. Groups must have liability insurance and a group bank account; payments will not be made to individuals.