Cambridge offers $200 grants for residents to host block parties
CAMBRIDGE - Leaders in Cambridge are willing to put their money where their mouth is by providing grants to residents looking to bring neighbors together.
The city has long promoted open street concepts that close roads to cars and allow people to spill out into the streets. Cambridge's Block Party Program is a way for people living in the city to apply for a permit that would allow them to close part of their street to host their own.
This year, the city said it is changing some of its requirements. Permits will now be free, applicants will now need 25% of their neighbors to co-sign (that's down from 75%), and the city is offering $200 grants to folks looking to host a block party.
Vivek Sikri has a child at the Morse School and serves on the PTA. Last weekend, he planned a block party through the city's program. "It made it so much easier," said Sikri. "Coming out of COVID we felt so many communal ties had been broken. While they are starting to mend, we felt like we could really accelerate this and get our neighbors out and our community together."
Daniel Wolf works for the city in the Community Development Department. Wolf said applications for block party permits have increased this year. "Folks are really hungry for social connection and in person human connection," said Wolf. "Last year we saw 45 block parties in Cambridge. We would like to see that number double or triple."
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