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As part of Newsom's $1.1 billion Clean California initiative, these new grants will create employment and facilitate local community participation in beautifying the public spaces. Clean California also expands Newsom's efforts to eliminate 1.2 million cubic yards of trash (up from 270,000 cubic yards in 2020) from state highways each year. According to the Governor's office, the initiative will provide 10,000 to 11,000 jobs to people, including homeless, at-risk youth, local artists, veterans, and students, for over three years.
While announcing the availability of grants, Newsom acknowledged the need to take serious action in removing litter from the street. He further asserted the importance of investments made through Clean California. He said that it will help engage the local community in creating "public spaces that all Californians can take pride in."
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Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said the grants would help communities clean up and beautify their hometowns and local street.
The initiative also supports California's multi-pronged approach to address the grave issue of homelessness by implementing bold, transformative solutions to shelter, stabilize through a historic $12 billion over two years.
Starting December 1, California cities, counties, transit agencies, tribal governments, and other governmental entities can submit applications for projects costing up to $5 million. Applicants have time till February 1, 2022, to present the proposal.
As per Governor's office, the project proposal that aims to eliminate litter on city streets, create a marker on a thoroughfare entering a town or neighborhood, beautify an area through greening or landscaping will be considered.
Caltrans will announce the grant recipients on March 1, 2022, and will further allow award recipients time till June 30, 2024, to complete the project. The department is expecting project proposals from agencies across 58 California counties.
Caltrans will award 200 grants to create hundreds of sustainable, green beautification and litter abatement projects statewide. In the next three years, the department plans to match local investments and resolve the pain points of underserved communities by funding 300 local projects throughout California.
Caltrans has been making a conscious effort to drive cleanliness throughout California. Since July, it collected 3,800 tons of trash and has created had 600 conditional job offers as part of the program.
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