Before installing the Boardwalk on Commercial Street, Sustainability Team members had to ask themselves how it would be possible to keep the Boardwalk and its upkeep at a nominal expense to the city?

The solution, ultimately, was easy because it was already there.

Look between the Boardwalk on Commercial Street and the sidewalk and you will find 3 brightly colored parking meters that were transformed into Give-O-Meters 2 weeks after the original Boardwalk installation.

While the city was contemplating removing the meters after the Boardwalk was installed, the Sustainability Team convinced the city of another test-pilot: transform the parking meters into a self-sustaining stream of revenue called Give-O-Meters.

Designed by Brook Design and donated by Grass Valley Sign Company, each meter reads:

The quarters donated to this GIVE-O-METER are dedicated to the maintenance of this Commercial Street Boardwalk as well as the beautification of Nevada City. We thank you for your support in making this a splendid place to be.

In spite of little fanfare, in just under 10 months, more than 1,700 quarters have been donated to the Give-O-Meters raising just over $440: covering Boardwalk upkeep costs.


Just imagine Give-O-Meters at every park, community garden, or art display, allowing the public to vote with their coins. If you like what you see, simply support it right then and there by popping your spare change into the Give-O-Meter of your choice!

Now that’s voting with your dollar…. or spare change.