What is the Neighborhood Beautification Kit?

The Neighborhood Beautification Kit (NBK) is a kit to be supplied by the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services (MOCS) and Legacy Foundation. The kit will provide material to assist with registered Block Clubs’ efforts to revitalize their blocks.  

The NBK will contain technical training and starting supplies and how-to guides for selected Block Club members to implement their beautification projects. The City will also provide volunteer labor, if needed, to implement the projects.

Block Clubs must be official registrants with the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, complete a Civic Leadership Development training (to be scheduled with the Green Urbanism department), and submit an official application to MOCS to be eligible to apply for a kit. Only registered Block Clubs are qualified to apply for a Neighborhood Beautification Kit.


How do I register for the training?

Please contact Maryah at cogvista1@ci.gary.in.us or 219-882-3000 to register for a training.


What are some ideas for some neighborhood projects we can submit?

Ideas to consider include: rain gardens, flower gardens, community gardens, sitting social parks, creative art for boarded up properties, street lighting, block entrance beautification (lampposts and/or signage), memorial spaces, graffiti removal, and other forms of blight maintenance and elimination. We are also open to providing kits for beautification projects that are not listed.


I have other priorities that need to be fixed first in my neighborhood.

In the application we ask that you list any 311 issues you wish to be resolved in your neighborhood. We will expedite these service requests.

We will also sponsor a dumpster if you wish to conduct a community cleanup on your block before implementing your project. For more information on dumpster requests and community cleanups, please visit www.garyin.us/constituent-services-department/ or call 881-4815.


How do I apply?

You will need to schedule a training with the Green Urbanism department prior to applying for the kit. You will receive the official Neighborhood Beautification Kit application once you complete the training, but we have provided a list of questions to consider before attending the training.

Please complete the official application with your block club members. The application requires that you attach signatures from each block club member to signal support of the project.


I need manpower for my project– could you help with that?

Yes. We will provide scheduled manual labor through various resources such as City Courts, youth volunteers, city employees, and other volunteers.


What kind of project am I able to submit?

Any beautification project that you think will benefit you and your block. We encourage projects that eliminate blight and utilize vacant city lots.


How am I supposed to figure out how much my project will cost?

We ask on the application that you provide an estimated cost for your beautification project. To figure out that cost, you can do research online or visit a hardware store such as Home Depot, Menard’s, Ace Hardware, or others. The Green Urbanism department will also assist with project budgeting during your Civic Leadership Development training.


Do I need to be in a block club?

Yes. To participate you must be a registered Gary Block Club with the Urban League of Northwest Indiana.


How do I become a Block Club?

Please complete and submit the Block Club registration form and return it to the Urban League at 3101 Broadway, Gary, IN or email a copy of the form to ssimpson@ulofnwi.org.

You can find the form online at www.garyin.us/constituent-services-department, www.ulofnwi.org, or pick up a hard copy at 401 Broadway, Suite 200. For any questions about Block Club registration, please call the Urban League at 219-887-9621.


How many block club projects will be chosen? Who will choose the winning block club projects?

There will be 6-8 Block Club projects selected. The winning Block Clubs will be chosen by a neutral, diverse committee of individuals from the City of Gary, the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, youth representatives, and other non-participating Gary residents.


How will you choose which projects to fund?

We will strongly consider projects that utilize vacant lots– especially those which emphasize green spaces and community building. Additionally, we are looking to fund diverse projects that are feasible, have strong support from all Block Club members, and are likely to be sustained by the Block Club for years to come.


Can I set up an appointment to talk about the Neighborhood Beautification Kits in person?

The Urban League and MOCS will be hosting a Block Club Social and swearing in ceremony on Monday, July 23rd. Please attend this meeting with any questions you have about the kits. Otherwise, please call 219-881-4815 or email mocs@ci.gary.in.us with any questions.


How do I set up a time for the Civic Leadership Development training?

Please call Green Urbanism at 219-882-3000 to set up a time for the training. Please encourage as many Block Club members as possible to attend.


What is the deadline?

The deadline to submit your application is Monday, August 6th at 5pm.


When will the winning block clubs be announced?

The recipients of the Neighborhood Beautification Kits will be announced by Friday, August 10th.