The Community Project

The Community Project

As we speak with municipal leaders across Idaho, they’ve told us they are looking for opportunities to engage and connect their communities, with the goal of strengthening relationships among community members and creating a sense of solidarity. That’s why we’ve created The Community Project.

The Community Project unites leaders and residents to define, design, and create outdoor spaces that bring people together. Through a professionally-guided process, the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health partners with community leaders to develop skills and tools for impactful community engagement.

In communities across Idaho, our sense of place — of home — connects us to our communities. Neighborhoods, parks, and town squares are all reflections of who we are and where we live. Through The Commmunity Project, the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health will work with selected communities to build or reimagine public spaces that will enhance the quality of life, civility and community connections.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Community Project?
The Community Project is a program offered by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health that provides incorporated Idaho cities the opportunity to unite community leaders and residents to define, design, and create outdoor spaces that bring people together.

The Community Project is a three-step process:
1. Identify the community space (city park, town hall, library, etc.)
2. Collaborate with community members and groups to cocreate a design and plan for the space
3. The project comes to life through Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health funding

Who can apply?
Only staff or elected officials of any incorporated Idaho city that has attended the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health’s Community Health Academy can apply for this grant.

Why The Community Project?

As we speak with municipal leaders across Idaho, they’ve told us they are looking for opportunities to engage and connect their communities, with the goal of strengthening relationships among community members and creating a sense of solidarity. That’s why we’ve created The Community Project.

The Community Project unites leaders and residents to define, design, and create outdoor spaces that bring people together. Through a professionally-guided process, the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health partners with community leaders to develop skills and tools for impactful community engagement.

What types of projects will be funded by The Community Project grants?
Idahoans love the outdoors and their parks, so we envision projects in those areas that would be accessible to all community members, especially families and children.

That could mean a picnic area, pavilion, splash pad, walking paths, trails, gazebos, community gardens, park upgrades, or something else that a community brainstorms.

The Foundation will contribute up to $85,000 toward the project. Communities can contribute or seek additional funds for larger projects. Please note: The Community Project is for new projects and those still being developed with community input.

What do cities receive if awarded one of The Community Project grants?
The Foundation will fund the construction of the project (up to $85,000) and provide a technical assistance contractor to help support community engagement training and lead in-person community events.  communications strategies, including surveys and mailers for communities to distribute, assist with ribbon cutting celebrations and social media support. The focus of this grant is community engagement and cocreating a community space to bring neighbors together, and we’ll be there to support cities in that mission.

What should cities expect if selected and what obligations do they have in the grant process?
Awarded communities must allocate staff time or find outside support to help with community engagement, which is expected to be about 80 hours over the entire project. The Foundation will pay a small stipend on top of the grant to help support the workload. It is important that the community allows time for deep and thoughtful community engagement to get a wide variety of voices for this project. The focus should be on voices not typically heard at a city council meeting – youth, seniors, and multilingual community members.

Cities must have allocated space for a project, such as a green space, park, or another site to develop a community project. Concepts need to have some city support already so that the process runs smoothly and can come to fruition in 2024.

What types of community engagement are expected?
This process will be unique as each community’s engagement strategies may be different. The professionally-guided process throughout the grant will include a communications audit, staff training, templates, and tools for this grant, as well as future projects that wish to incorporate all voices in the community.

What is the timeline for The Community Project?

If selected, technical assistance work starts in April and continues through September. Grants funds will be issued in the fall.