Placemaking Grant – REALTOR® Associations Examples

REALTOR® Party Success Stories

Space Coast Association of REALTORS®: Until recently in the sunny City of Melbourne, Florida, canine residents were left out in the cold where public parks were concerned. The local REALTORS® stepped up with elbow grease and Placemaking Grants from the REALTOR® Party to welcome the dogs and the humans who love them; in doing so, they’ve earned the appreciation of grateful communities.

Coeur d’Alene REALTORS® Bring a “Storybook Trail” to Growing Community: The Coeur d’Alene REALTOR® association wanted to use one of the REALTOR® Party’s Smart Growth Action Grants to help a local community where its members live and work. Working together with the City of Rathdrum, Idaho, they planned and built a ‘Storybook Trail’ at the base of Rathdrum Mountain.

Schuylkill REALTORS® Rehab Park, Launch REALTORS® Political Career: The REALTORS® of the Schuylkill County Board used a Placemaking Grant to bring a local playground swinging back to life.  The REALTOR® who spearheaded the project, having learned the workings of the Borough Council in the proposal process, was appointed to replace an outgoing Council member, and is now serving a second term as an indispensable public servant – and the only woman on the local governing body.

Southeastern Oklahoma REALTORS® Create Gathering Space in Historic Downtown McAlester: On a vacant lot in downtown McAlester, Okla., an attractive new gathering place has sprung up, providing the community with a central new green space and priming the area for additional growth and development. A perfect example of successful placemaking, the project came about through a collaboration led by REALTORS®. 

Placemaking & Puppy Love Go Hand-in-Hand for Kenai Peninsula REALTORS®: In the city of Soldotna, Alaska, dogs are having their day in a spacious new dog park. With the help of a Placemaking Grant and a lot of elbow grease, volunteers from the Kenai Peninsula Association worked alongside the Rotary Club and Parks and Recreation Department to build a large shelter, with benches, for dogs and owners alike.

Greater Nashville REALTORS® Put Placemaking Grant to Work for Pedestrian Plaza: With vision, elbow grease, and a Placemaking Grant, Greater Nashville REALTORS® partnered with a local civic design organization to transform a dismal traffic triangle into a cheerful, safer pedestrian refuge.  

Small Connecticut Boards Make Big Impact with Placemaking Grants: The 650-member Greater Fairfield Board of REALTORS® created an inviting ‘pocket park’ on an unused downtown corner. The 156-member Newtown Board of REALTORS® helped establish an attractive and productive ‘Fruit Trail’ of flowering trees and perennials along a recreational path. Both projects, made possible by the REALTOR® Party’s Placemaking Grants, have enhanced the towns and heightened the profile of the REALTORS®. 

Hopkinsville, KY Goes to the Dogs with the Help of a Placemaking Grant: The Hopkinsville Dog Park opened by an official ribbon cutting ceremony, with plenty of dogs in attendance, ready to romp.  It was all the idea of the 56-member Hopkinsville Christian & Todd County Association of REALTORS® and a Placemaking Micro-Grant from the REALTOR® Party helped make it a reality. MORE. 

Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® : Nearly 600 REALTORS® from the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® (WRAR) participated in its second annual REALTOR® Action Day—aka “RAD.” From playing music at senior centers to planting plants and clean-up and landscaping projects, RAD was full of WRAR members working to improve their community. Nearly 100 participants built a community garden with park benches and a tool shed using a $3,000 Placemaking Micro-grant.  MORE. 

Plymouth and South Shore Association of REALTORS® Plant a Sense of Community with Garden Project  

The 2,500-member Plymouth and South Shore Association of REALTORS® (PASS) has a strong and vital charitable arm that is accustomed to giving back, but past April 16, and again on Earth Day, about 20 members couldn’t resist an opportunity to get out in the fresh air and get their hands dirty with a community garden placemaking project.   

Small in Size, Mighty in Impact: The Greater Mason City Board of REALTORS® : The 82-member Greater Mason City Board of REALTORS® in northern Iowa has prided itself on its community involvement, recently applying for a Placemaking Micro-grant.  To formalize its program, the association developed a Core Standards Committee and Community Outreach Task Force consisting of a handful of REALTORS® and its one-and-a-half staff members, who have ramped up the group’s already robust tradition of community service to an impressive pitch.   

REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley Create a Dog Friendly Environment with a Placemaking Grant : Despite what you’ve heard about teaching old dogs new tricks, the century-old REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley (RAPV) has taken to the REALTOR® Party’s Placemaking initiative like a puppy to a fetch-stick. After learning about The REALTOR® Party’s Placemaking Grant, the 1,650-member association came up with ideas to help transform neglected public spaces into vibrant community gathering places.  

Bronx-Manhattan North Association of REALTORS® Uses Placemaking to Spur Pride and Positive: engagement : What started as two people talking about how to spend $2,200 to improve the atmosphere of a bleak urban space, resulted in a vibrant public arts project that is now valued at $50,000, attracted a visit from a Supreme Court Justice, and, most importantly, has spurred pride and positive engagement in its neighborhood.  See how a Placemaking Grant led the Bronx-Manhattan North Association of REALTORS® to partner with the Bronx Community Board 9, resulting in a beautiful piece of public art and community building.   

Springfield (MO) REALTORS® Help Restore Beloved City Park to Former Glory – and Then SomeThe 1,718-member Greater Springfield (MO) Board of REALTORS® was keen to show that they truly cared about their community.  They found that opportunity by helping to restore the city’s beloved 31-acre Phelps Grove Park after a major ice storm had damaged much of its landscape. With a NAR placemaking grant, they not only helped to bring the park back to life, but they also added a patio at the intersection of several of the park’s walking paths, enhanced by two handsome stone benches bearing the board’s name.  Read about the Springfield Board’s successful placemaking project 

Worcester (MA) REALTORS® Use Placemaking Grant to Restore Local Veterans’ Memorial Triggering a Surge of Civic Pride : A 65-year-old granite eagle monument to honor veterans had become an eyesore from years of neglect, and the 1,500-member Worcester Regional Association of REALTORS® decided to do something about it.  They put a placemaking grant from NAR to work, along with elbow grease from their members and other volunteers, to restore the monument and grounds, triggering a surge of local civic pride in the process.   

Merrymeeting Board (ME) Enhances New Library with Welcoming Outdoor “Reading Garden: When the small town of Richmond, Maine rebuilt their community library, the local 213-member Merrymeeting Board of REALTORS® stepped forward with a NAR Placemaking Micro-Grant to provide a reading garden and patio to go with it. The funds were used to create a large stone patio with a stepping-stone pathway, a sturdy bench, and shrubbery to anchor the garden.  Come spring, hundreds of perennials that townspeople have donated from their own gardens will be transplanted to complete the setting.  Read more about the Merrymeeting Board’s success with a Placemaking Grant. 

Missoula REALTORS® Combine Dollars and Sweat Equity to Make an All-Abilities Playground Happen : The 500-member Missoula Organization of REALTORS® put a placemaking grant, as well as their muscle-power, to work to bring an all-abilities playground to their city’s McCormick Park.  The NAR grant, along with funds of their own and another community grant helped to pay for the playground that features rubberized surfaces, a sensory play area, and specialized equipment like a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round.  Volunteers worked with professional contractors to build it.   

Northern Kentucky REALTORS® Offer New Park Benches for Walking Trail : After hosting a successful, yet strenuous, walk-a-thon as part of its first annual Health Fair, the 835-member Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® (NKAR) saw the need for some places to rest along the way.  Not a group to rest on its laurels – even after celebrating their 100-year anniversary this year—NKAR used a Placemaking Micro-Grant from NAR, along with funds of their own, to pay for two REALTOR-branded park benches along the county’s new walking/bike trail.  

Michigan REALTORS®–Placemaking Pioneers–Show How a Little TLC Goes a Long Way : After two years, the ‘Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper’ placemaking challenge launched by the Michigan Association of REALTORS® (MAR) is proving that little things make a big difference.  In 2012, MAR hosted “Michigan Great Places,” a placemaking leadership forum run by Project for Public Spaces (PPS).  Bolstered by a Smart Growth Action Grant from NAR, the state association then challenged its local associations to devise site-specific projects to revitalize neighborhoods.  From installing walking path signage, to creating a community book exchange, to supporting a mobile garden, REALTORS across the state are putting the state’s micro placemaking grants to work.   

On Common Ground Articles

 REALTORS® Help Welcome Visitors to Sutton BayTraverse Area Association of Realtor created a unique community welcoming pocket park and trailhead rest spot.  REALTORS® work to improve health and quality of life in communities across the country.  See examples of the Missoula Organization of  

REALTORS© work to improve health and quality of life in communities across the country: Missoula Organization of REALTORS® playground project; Greenwood Association of REALTORS® REALTOR® trail; Cedar Rapids Area Association of REALTORS® fitness zone; and Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS ® community garden.  

Spaces to Places Blog Posts – Association Projects

Spaces to Places Blog Posts – Before & After

Placemaking Project Videos 

  • Northwest Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® Pocket Park project: NWOAR partnered with Main Street Enid to create a great space for the community to gather, meet and play. 
  • 2018 St. Louis Pocket Park   and 2017 project: The St. Louis REALTORS® have undertaken placemaking projects in both 2017 and 2018 to transform underutilized spaces into vibrant community gather places to benefit communities in need.  
  • MIBOR Community Garden project: A local REALTOR® purchased an empty lot with the vision to transform it into a space everyone could use: a community garden.