The Port of Vancouver has begun taking applications for its 2023 community fund.
“We’ve already had some amazing projects completed with port funds,” Julie Rawls, community relations manager at the port, said in a media release earlier this month. “We are looking forward to helping even more projects in the coming year.”
In previous years, the fund was used for projects with the Vancouver Farmers Market, Vancouver Public Schools and the Columbia Play Project.
The Columbia Play Project used its award funds to assemble play kits that could teach children about healthy water and ecosystems. The project launched amid the COVID-19 pandemic with children stuck at home. The play kits came out in December 2021, combining fun and education for kids 3 to 7.
The first “Welcome to the Ecosystem” kit taught children the idea of an ecosystem, with animals, water, land and sky comprising a habitat.
The port awarded money to Vancouver Public Schools’ construction trades program that was used to buy construction materials for building a shed at Hudson’s Bay High School.
Funds that were granted to the Vancouver Farmers Market were used to provide free booth space and entrepreneurial training for marginalized community members — the Market Assistance Program.
The Market Assistance Program that operated this last market season allowed small-business owners who make less than 80 percent of the local median income to test their products at a weekend market. This past market season, businesses generally brought in more than $1,000 in revenue each weekend they were at market.
The fund supports projects and programs that align with the port’s mission of economic development, workforce development, trade and tourism promotion, according to a media release from the port.
The port has set aside $10,000 for its 2023 program. Funds will be awarded through a competitive application process to at least one project that meets the program’s goals and is located within the port district boundaries.
Submissions are due Jan. 30. Successful applications will have one year from the date of the award to use the funds. Those interested in applying can reach Julie Rawls at firstname.lastname@example.org.