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Mystic-Forest-2 echo1
Mystic-Forest-2 echo1
Grant funding helps enhance Novi's neighborhoods
Published: 12/4/2020
The entranceways to many of Novi’s subdivisions set the tone for the neighborhood. Residents take a great deal of pride in the first impression those entranceways make as they reflect positively on the entire area and contribute to the perceived value of homes in the neighborhood.

Those same entranceways are also important to the City of Novi for many of those same reasons and were the impetus behind the creation of the Novi Neighborhood Entryway Enhancement Matching Grant program in 2014. The program provides up to $5,000 in funding to assist Novi homeowner associations that want to enhance their neighborhoods through high-quality, sustainable neighborhood entranceway beautification projects.

“The idea behind the program is to encourage subdivisions to spruce up their entries, whether it be tired or sparse landscaping, or outdoor signs or signs in poor condition. As they are, they don’t necessarily present a positive image of the subdivision or of Novi,” said Rick Meader, Novi’s Landscape Architect. “The match provides a good incentive for neighborhoods to take action and gives them the means to make a larger improvement than they might have been able to do without it.”

The projects must be intended to beautify an entrance through significant and permanent physical improvements, including adding/modifying entrance signs, constructing flower beds, planting trees and installing other entryway improvements.

Echo Valley took advantage of the program just last year, turning its two outdated entranceways filled with overgrown and unattractive plantings into a modern look that is drawing rave reviews.

Each of the four garden beds are now enclosed with a blue stone stacked wall and native trees and plantings make up most of the beds. New LED bronze post lamps and pedestals were installed to update the four entrance signs and the two copper leaf structures on the signs got a refresh from the resident who originally made them.

Gina Van Horn, who serves on the Echo Valley HOA Board, said they would have been able to complete most of the project without the $5,000 grant from the City but it would have “greatly depleted our funds and endangered the balance of our emergency fund.” The grant ensured the success of the project now and into the future.

“Echo Valley is a vintage gem of Novi… and its new entranceways have added welcome curb appeal to the surrounding area and a plethora of compliments from residents and visitors,” Van Horn said.

Chase Farms was another subdivision that took advantage of the grant funds, using the $5,000 to help offset some “unanticipated conditions” that arose during their $30,000 project, according to Board President Art Belloli.

“We appreciated the possible notoriety as well as a way to model the behavior of good corporate citizenship in the City of Novi,” Belloli said.

Lynn Kocan, President of Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision, said they have taken advantage of the grant twice for their two phase enhancement and are extremely appreciative.

“I believe the City’s return on investment is substantial in terms of pride and visibility throughout the City,” she said.

Meader said typically older subdivisions in worse shape or projects that show a stronger need for improvement are more likely to get a grant. A new sign is especially attractive to the Beautification Commission as they make a big difference to an entry. A total of 31 subdivisions have been awarded grants since the program started, totaling over $135,000 in funding.

Complete grant details are available at cityofnovi.org. Any questions should be submitted to entrywaygrant@cityofnovi.org. 

2021 Grant Program Dates
  • January 11 – January 29 by 5pm - Completed applications are accepted
  • March - Beautification Commission meets
  • April - Recommendations by Beautification Commission are made to City Council; City Council awards grants
  • October 29 by 5pm - Project completion date; the entire project must be completed or reimbursement/grant award will be forfeited.