Local organizations are working together to spruce up a parcel of downtown.

Fostoria’s Tree & Beautification Committee has been awarded a $12,000 grant from the Greater Fostoria Community Foundation Fund to develop a parkette in the grassy lot at the corner of Main and North streets. The project will be a collaboration between the committee, the Community Improvement Corporation of Fostoria and the Fostoria Garden Club. Officials have said they’re not ready to release details just yet, however, they stated there are “a lot of really cool ideas” surrounding the project.

One such plan includes the establishment of an outdoor sculpture in the parkette. An $18,000 grant from the Mennel Milling Community Improvement Fund will allow the city to purchase the “Creatures of the Sky Arch” sculpture, currently located near the corner of Main and Tiffin streets. The sculpture, which is part of the 2019-20 Midwest Sculpture Initiative exhibit, will become a permanent addition to the new parkette in 2020.

Fostoria became home to the temporary outdoor art exhibit in May 2018. MSI installed eight pieces in various locations from Perry Street through Main Street on a temporary basis. From that exhibit, “Promise to Flower” by artist Ric Leichliter of Sugar Grove, Ohio, was installed next to the Kaubisch Memorial Public Library on the corner of Perry and West Fremont streets. A grant from The Gregory Mullins Advised Fund of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and a personal donation directly from Greg and his wife Lesa were earmarked for the Fostoria Area Visitors Bureau to purchase “Promise to Flower” as a memorial to Greg’s father, Mark Mullins.

The city was selected to house another outdoor exhibit in 2019-20, which includes “Creatures of the Sky Arch,” by Jim Gallucci of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Officials have announced the city will again be part of the exhibit in 2020-21, with new sculptures arriving in April or May.

In addition, the Fostoria Area Visitor’s Bureau was awarded a $250 grant from The Ronald & Evelyn Burns Family Donor Advised Fund toward expenses for hosting a Midwest Sculpture Initiative exhibit in 2020-21.

The Tree & Beautification Committee was one of several area organizations to be awarded grants from the Greater Fostoria Community Foundation, Inc. (GFCF) in the last half of 2019.

The GFCF awarded grants totaling more than $103,300 in the second half of year. Other grant recipients included:

• Fostoria Garden Club, sponsored by Vision 2020 — A $5,000 grant will go toward new beautification projects planned at the triangle of Lytle and Findlay streets and Sunshine Point at U.S. 23 and Ohio 199.

• WSOS Community Action Commission — A grant of $9,350 was made in support of the Fostoria Ready to Work YouthBuild program at the Fostoria Learning Center.

• Girl Scouts of Western Ohio — A $5,000 grant will support Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s Fostoria Community Outreach Program in 2020.

• Geary Family YMCA — A private fund granted $50,000 to the YMCA’s capital campaign as well as $1,850 for programming at Foundation Park.

• Foundation Park — A grant of $1,947.33 from the Eugene & Betty Schalk Donor Advised Fund will support the purchase of sponsorship signage at the park.

The Greater Fostoria Community Foundation accepts grant applications from qualified 501c3 organizations twice a year. The next application deadline is Feb. 28.

For more information, visit http://www.fostoriafoundation.com/grant-information/ or contact Michele Cochran, GFCF executive director, at 419-435-2823 or director@fostoriafoundation.com.

These most recent grants bring the total distribution of GFCF grants awarded to more than $2,553,100 since the foundation’s inception in 1998. Over the last 21 years, the Foundation has benefited nearly 60 non-profit agencies and organizations in Fostoria and the surrounding area. For more information on GFCF, visit www.fostoriacommunityfoundation.com or Greater Fostoria Community Foundation on Facebook.