A dozen projects to improve St. Paul’s Green Line corridor, ranging from the proposed River Balcony to a tool station for bikes, have won grants amounting to nearly $600,000 from the Knight Foundation.

The winners of the Knight Green Line Challenge were announced Tuesday, the second of three years during which the foundation will spend a total of $1.5 million on the best ideas to enliven St. Paul neighborhoods along the light-rail line.

Foundation officials said the winning projects fell into three categories: exciting residents and drawing newcomers, expanding economic opportunity and strengthening civic engagement.

This year’s competition drew 358 applicants, a list that was narrowed in August to 27 finalists. The contest is open to any person, business or nonprofit with proposals to benefit downtown, Summit-University, Frogtown/Thomas-Dale, Hamline Midway, Union Park or St. Anthony Park.

Projects were judged on their potential impact, proximity to the Green Line and feasibility. For more information, go to knightgreenlinechallenge.org/.

The winners announced Wednesday:

• St. Paul Riverfront Corp., $100,000 to develop concepts with the community’s help for the proposed downtown River Balcony.

• Rondo Ave. Inc., $75,000 to share oral histories at the new Rondo Commemorative Plaza and Garden.

• Team Better Block, $75,000 to develop and share designs for snap-together street furniture.

• African Economic Development Solutions, $60,000 to create a plan and design for the Little Africa Cultural Corridor.

• Johnny Baby’s, $60,000 to develop green space for Rondo area residents.

• St. Paul Smart Trips, $45,000 to develop transportation ideas with the help of Frogtown youth.

• We Lighting, $45,000 to light the Sibley Street riverfront underpass.

• Amanda Lovelee, $43,000 to plant 500 trees along the Green Line for a “friendship forest.”

• Minnesota Historical Society, $35,723 for community-led walking tours of Green Line neighborhoods.

• Matt Privratsky, $23,250 to install wayfaring signs.

• Heather Cole, $8,000 for brown-bag conversations at downtown bistros.

• Erin Pavlica, $4,410 for a bike tool station between Charles and Griggs avenues.

“This group of winners represents an exciting group of civic innovators working to make their city more successful,” said George Abbott, Knight’s interim program director for St. Paul.