Since 2016, the Appearance Commission has offered Matching Grant money for Public Beautification Projects in Polk County. At present the maximum matching grant amount is $1,000 per approved project.
We encourage community and civic leaders throughout the county to continue the traditions of tasteful landscaping, building design and creative beautification that have always made Polk County a special place to live and visit.
The criteria for receiving a Matching Grant are as follows:
Property used by and for the public
Examples of types of improvements that may be awarded a Matching Grant are:
Tasteful landscaping with native trees, shrubs and flowers
Structural improvements to buildings – These include exterior renovations that are visible from the street or sidewalk. Signage, awnings, planters, water features and similar architectural elements are also eligible.
Public art including outdoor sculpture and exterior murals
Well maintained public properties that offer exceptional opportunity for citizens and visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature and our surroundings may also be considered
“In Kind” work by participants of the project may be used by applicants for matching funds
Examples of previous beautification enhancements that have received grants from the Appearance Commission are:
Maple tree in the fountain planter bed of St. Luke’s Plaza
Artistic recycle bins on the sidewalk of Saluda
Landscaping and plant maintenance in front of the Polk County Courthouse in Columbus
Applications for Matching Grants will be received starting November 15th.
Funds are limited and applicants will be reviewed in the order received.
The Final Grant Report must be submitted no later than May 31st.
This must be submitted with proof of monies spent, receipts for expenses and photos of the finished work included.
Grant application forms may downloaded below and emailed to . You may also mail or drop off at the
First Peak Visitors Center, 20 E. Mills Street, Columbus, North Carolina 28722.
All work performed must be in compliance with existing city, county, and state codes, utility safety procedures, etc.
Please use this handy Smart Plant Buyer Guide from MountainTrue to ensure that your project uses only non-invasive, native plant species.
We look forward to your Matching Grant application for a Polk County that is Clean, Beautiful and Inviting.