FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 CONTACT: Michael Schade
July 27, 2012                                                                                       PHONE:     617.926.1500

Again this year, the Watertown Community Foundation (WCF) is requesting applications for its Watertown Riverfront Mini-Grant Program.  The purpose of these $500 grants is to encourage enjoyment, utilization and stewardship of the Watertown riverfront.  Watertown schools, nonprofit organizations and volunteer groups are encouraged to apply.   At this time, WCF has funds set aside for thirteen $500 mini-grants.  


Previously awarded Riverfront Mini-Grants

  • ·         Charles River Watershed Association for a spring Earth Day cleanup.
  • ·         Watertown Family Network for a ”Nature Walk Down by the River” for preschoolers, toddlers, infants and their parents/caregivers to look for geese, ducks and turtles and to enjoy a nature program with music.
  • ·         Charles River Conservancy for two fall volunteer clean up days.
  • ·         Watertown Council on Aging/Senior Center for a mini-series of ‘virtual‘ river tours (slideshows with music and birdsongs) by local photographer/naturalist, Carol Smith-Berney.
  • ·         Cunniff School PTO for a “Cunniff Cares and Cleans” day along the banks and walkways by the river.
  • ·         Watertown Community Education – Lowell School Extended Day Program for spring weekly Grade 2 riverfront nature walks and wildlife observations with expert birder/naturalist, Adam Blanchette.
  • Historical Society of Watertown for preparation/mounting of the replacement Benjamin Curtis plaque on the Watertown Delta as well as the rededication ceremony combined with an historical walking tour of Charles River Road.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be either an all-volunteer group; a goal-oriented civic, youth, senior or community organization; a school or school-related group; a 501 (c) (3) organization or a similar group focused on serving people in Watertown.
  • Propose a project or activity that encourages the enjoyment, utilization or stewardship of the riverfront.
  • Promote building stronger connections among community members using the riverfront as a focus or catalyst.

Note that previous grantees ARE welcome to apply for funding again this year.


Examples of Projects/Activities

Riverfront activities and projects that may be funded include, but are not limited to:

  • A kids/youth art festival or program or craft projects.
  • A music program or event.
  • Supplemental school, PTO or after-school nature or science programs or activities.
  • Yoga or Tai Chi classes.
  • A Riverfront historical and/or nature walk for youth, children, seniors or other groups.
  • Youth basketball tournament (3-on-3) or other sports activity at the riverfront park.
  • Events/programs for preschoolers, toddlers and their families on the riverfront or oriented toward the riverfront.
  • Educational programs for local residents on current riverfront issues or news.
  • A riverfront cleanup activity.

Note that creative ideas are encouraged!


Application process

Riverfront Mini-Grant applications are being accepted at this time.  For a copy of the one-page application form, contact Jennifer Ross, Watertown Riverfront Coordinator, at or 303-250-6396.  Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis until all funds are dispersed.  A funded riverfront project or activity can take place anytime after the organization’s mini-grant proposal is approved.  All funded projects and activities should be completed by March 31, 2013 unless otherwise approved my WCF’s mini-grant committee.


The Watertown Riverfront Mini-Grants Program is funded by the Bilezikian Family Foundation.


The Watertown Community Foundation has awarded over $325,000 in grants in it was founded in 2003.  It works to build and sustain a vibrant, close-knit community in Watertown – now, and for future generations.  To accomplish this, WCF raises funds from people and partner institutions, awards grants to non-profits and community projects, and builds networks of donors, grantees, program participants and stakeholders. 


WCF and its grantees are consistent leaders in efforts to:

  • ·         Advance education and health,
  • ·         Support the most vulnerable,
  • ·         Protect the environment,
  • ·         Foster community engagement and leadership.


WCF’s Board of Directors

Andrew Bundy, President; William B. Ford, Treasurer; Roberta Miller and Robert P. Shay, Vice-Presidents; Marian Grogan; Rob Kelly; Teresa Leonard; Doreen Munger-Dawson; Susan Musinsky; Pia Owens; Lora Sabin; Thea Sahr; Ken Sheytanian; Stephen M. Winnick; Raymond H. Young.


Persons interested in supporting WCF, or for more information on this announcement, please contact:  Michael Schade, Executive Director, at 617-926-1500, or


Please visit