Solana Beach to divide $35K among local organizations in annual grant program

Solana Beach City Hall
(File photo)

Local organizations made their pitches to the Solana Beach City Council on June 14 for a piece of the annual Community Grant Program funding.

Each organization that applies is eligible for up to $6,000 from a pool of $35,000. Earlier this year, council members decided to increase the city’s contribution to $20,000 with the additional $15,000 coming from EDCO. The city has historically capped its contribution toward the program at $10,000, in addition to $15,000 from EDCO.

The City Council will decide how to divide the funds during its June 24 meeting. Fourteen applicants are each requesting the maximum amount, or close to it. The process gives priority to organizations that provide services or goods to the Solana Beach community. The criteria also includes justifiable program costs, program originality, leverage of matching funds or other resources, and projects that can be completed by the end of May 2024.

Kathy O’Leary, president of the Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito, said her organization could use the funding for programs that connect children in underserved communities with resources they need for school.

“Not only do we provide needed school shoes for these children, we also deliver a message of joy,” O’Leary said. “They know that the community cares about them.”

BikeWalkSolana would use funding for bicycling events around the city and classes aimed at making sure riders know the rules of the road.

“We all know that e-bikes are really exploding in popularity, there are a lot more people hitting the road,” said Kristin Brinner, a BikeWalkSolana member. “We think it would be great to continue to educate cyclists about their rights and responsibilities.”

Lisa Montes, curator of the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society’s Solana Beach Heritage Museum, said the grant would help support an oral history video project. The organization has a YouTube channel where interviews with longtime residents are posted.

“We continue to digitize history, because history is always evolving,” said Montes, a fourth-generation resident of the La Colonia de Eden Gardens neighborhood in Solana Beach.

Other organizations that have applied for funding include the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito, Casa De Amistad, the Community Resource Center, Jaliscience Folkloric Academy, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Pathways to Citizenship, Rancho Santa Fe Youth Soccer, and Solana Beach Community Connections.

Last year’s recipients include the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito, Casa De Amistad, La Colonia Community Foundation, and the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society.

Solana Beach established the Community Grant Program in 2004.