A $2,500 neighborhood grant from the City of St. Augustine to Flagler’s Model Land Company Neighborhood Association has resulted in three projects that showcase partnership and community at its best.
Each January, the City provides matching grants to neighborhoods that seek to improve some aspect of their neighborhood. Traditionally, these grants have taken the form of pet waste stations, educational information, or neighborhood identification signs. Neighbors John Versaggi and Tom Day were interested in improving the character of our downtown parking lots and approached Mark Hall at Ancient City Baptist Church and Harvey Devane at Flagler College about screening plants and signage on three of their parking lots.
Both organizations were enthusiastic about the idea and agreed to match the City’s grant funding doubling the amount available for the projects. Although working with multiple organizations is more complex than working alone, each partner was committed to a successful outcome.
Today, along the Flagler College’s parking lot on Markland Place plantings of Bottle Brush shield the parking lot from the street. The Church’s parking lot on Carrera Street is lined with Podacarpus and 9 decorative signposts were installed at their Sevilla Street lot which are more reflective of our historic neighborhood.
Paul Williamson, Public Affairs Director, said, “While the phrase “find a need and fill it” has most often been a suggestion to budding entrepreneurs, it most certainly is a fitting description of the work of the Flagler Model Land Neighborhood Association and its choice of projects for its neighborhood grant. Additionally, the association used this project as a way to pull together residents and institutions that share the same neighborhood into a closer relationship that will no doubt continue to deliver benefits for a long time.”
These and future projects demonstrate our commitment to keeping Henry Flagler’s vision for this historic neighborhood alive and to building a community that all parties are proud of.