City accepting proposals for UNITE Lancaster program

Volunteers help paint the Mural for Equality.

Volunteers painted a “Mural for Equality” as part of last year’s UNITE Lancaster program.

LANCASTER – If you live in the El Dorado neighborhood and you have a project that will improve the quality of life in your area, then the City of Lancaster would like to hear from you.

The City is now accepting applications for the third annual Uniting Neighbors in a Team Effort (UNITE) Lancaster program.

The program, which aims to assist in building safer and stronger neighborhoods, offers residents an opportunity to propose neighborhood improvement projects and compete for the resources and funding needed to make those projects a reality.

Projects taking place within the El Dorado neighborhood, which encompasses the area from Avenue J to Lancaster Boulevard and from Division Street to Challenger Way, will be given preference. However, the program is open to all neighborhoods within the City limits of the City of Lancaster, and those with outstanding project ideas for areas outside of the El Dorado neighborhood are encouraged to apply.

“The UNITE program has benefited our community with a number of creative service projects, each designed and implemented by a local resident or community organization,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris in a city news release. “I encourage residents to take advantage of this opportunity to propose a project that will improve the quality of life in your neighborhood. Together, we can be the change we wish to see in our community.”

Projects may be submitted in any of the following categories:

  • Beautification (such as façade improvements, green spaces, and murals);
  • Community strengthening (including mentorship programs, youth programs, and cultural programs); and
  • Public safety (such as traffic issues, lighting, and defensible spaces).

Past UNITE projects have encompassed an array of activities ranging from community gardens and murals to programs promoting youth entrepreneurship and targeting childhood obesity.

“Creativity is strongly encouraged in submitting UNITE projects for consideration,” said Steven Derryberry, Chairman of the Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commission (LNVC), which oversees the program. “The UNITE program is designed to engage and empower local neighborhoods by providing them with a forum to propose projects that they feel will enrich their neighborhoods, then offering the resources they need to implement those projects. We encourage residents to propose any project that meets these goals.”

Project applications will be judged based on six criteria, including self-reliance; neighborhood involvement; sustainability; community benefit; partnership building; and innovation.

Projects located within the El Dorado neighborhood will be assigned additional points during the judging process.

Applications for the UNITE program are available on the City’s website at

All applications must be received by Friday, June 29 at 5 p.m. (postmark dates will not be accepted).

Projects selected to receive resources and funding will be announced at the LNVC meeting on Aug. 7. All UNITE projects will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22.

For more information regarding the UNITE program, visit, e-mail, or call 661-723-6072.