MassDevelopment has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Cape Cod Toy Library, which will use funds to transform the underutilized backyard at Hyannis Public Library into the Outdoor Play Oasis.
The space for families to spend time together in an inclusive environment is designed to foster children’s curiosity, creativity, problem-solving abilities, social connections and physical activity.
By providing a stage, garden areas, benches and several play features, the Outdoor Play Oasis aims to serve as a family-friendly destination that will inspire residents and visitors to spend time in downtown Hyannis, visit shops and restaurants, and support local economic recovery.
The Cape Cod Toy Library will also crowdfund this fall, with donations being accepted at bit.ly/3lHNYLx; if the organization reaches its $40,000 goal it will receive an additional $40,000 matching grant from MassDevelopment.
The funds are awarded through MassDevelopment’s special Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places, which was made available specifically to assist local economic recovery efforts as community partners prepare public spaces and commercial districts to serve residents and visitors.
Created in 2016, Commonwealth Places aims to engage and mobilize community members to make individual contributions to placemaking projects, with the incentive of a funding match from MassDevelopment if the crowdfunding goal is reached. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MassDevelopment announced the opening of the first Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places in June 2020 and from August – October 2020 awarded $224,965 in funding for 21 placemaking projects across Massachusetts.
In December 2020, MassDevelopment announced the availability of $390,000 in funding for a second Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places.
Nonprofits and other community groups can apply to MassDevelopment for seed grants of between $250 to $7,500 to fund inclusive community engagement, visioning, and local capacity building that will support future placemaking efforts, or implementation grants of up to $50,000 to execute a placemaking project. For implementation grants, up to $10,000 per project may be awarded as an unmatched grant; awards greater than $10,000 must be matched with crowdfunding donations.
More information about the program is available at massdevelopment.com/commonwealthplaces.