BALTIMORE (WJZ) — ESPN, Under Armour and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are trying to turn vacant properties in three U.S. cities, including Baltimore, into safe places for kids to play.

They are looking for local partners to apply for funding to help kick-start this initiative.

“Vacant lots and properties adversely affect communities in numerous interconnected ways,” LISC says.

“They are more than just eyesores — they create a cycle of blight. Research has shown that vacant lots and abandoned properties increase police drug and violence calls, lower property values for the surrounding properties, and erode social cohesion and neighborhood pride.”

Proposals for funding to turn these eyesores into recreational spaces are due by May 15. Get more information BY CLICKING HERE.

LISC says it will identify projects and provide technical assistance to local residents and community groups, and assist them from the predevelopment and construction phases to project completion.

To be eligible for the ESPN RePlay program, organizations applying for grant funds must meet all of the criteria listed below:

  • Be a community-based organization, serving a neighborhood consisting primarily of low and moderate-income families and individuals;
  • Be in existence for at least three years;
  • Have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and have at least one full-time staff person (all-volunteer organizations will not be considered unless partnering with a qualifying local nonprofit);
  • Have a proven track record in real estate development and parks or youth programming; and
    Be located in Los Angeles, CA, Philadelphia, PA or Baltimore, MD

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