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Program offers free paint for special public projects

Are you looking for a way to spruce up your community, neighborhood or park?

West Central Initiative (WCI) may have a solution, thanks to Valspar's Minnesota Beautiful (formerly Picture It Painted) program.

Through a continued collaborative effort with the Valspar Corporation, paint and coatings will be available in 2009 to communities and public organizations located in the west central Minnesota counties of Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin to complete a rehabilitation or restoration project.

Paint and other products, including stain and sealant, will be awarded for interior or exterior restoration or beautification projects that best meet the eligibility criteria.

Selection will be based on the visual impact of the project, public benefit to the community, local volunteer participation and support, intended use of the building and benefit to the needy.

Projects that qualify include, but are not limited to, historic buildings, senior citizen or handicapped facilities, community centers, public buildings and murals.

Projects that are ineligible for the Minnesota Beautiful program include denominational churches, schools, city maintenance or privately owned facilities. Projects outside of WCI's nine-county service area do not qualify.

Applications are due March 2, 2009 and approved projects will be announced on or after March 25, 2009. The application may be downloaded at Click on "Applications."

For more information on the Minnesota Beautiful program, contact Greg Wagner at 1-800-735-2239 or e-mail him at

West Central Initiative is a public foundation serving Becker, Clay, Grant, Douglas, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties in west central Minnesota. WCI provides programs and resources in the areas of business and employment, workers and their families, and communities and the region.

For more information about WCI programs or how you can be a partner/supporter of WCI, call 1-800-735-2239 or visit