Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants
With support from the USDA Forest Service, the Massachusetts Urban and Community Forestry Program now offers an Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grant. These are 50-50 matching grants offered to municipalities and non-profit groups in Massachusetts communities of all sizes for the purpose of building local capacity for excellent urban and community forestry at the local and regional level. This grant offering is not a new grant, but a combination of our previous grant opportunities (Mass ReLeaf, Planning and Education, and Heritage Grants). We have changed the format in an effort to streamline the grant process for applicants and better target our limited resources.
What is Urban and Community Forestry?
For the purpose of these grants, Urban and Community Forestry refers to professional management (planting, protection and maintenances) of a municipality's public tree resources in partnership with residents and community institutions. On a broader scale, Urban and Community Forestry involves the community in the management of all a municipality's or region's "green infrastructure" in order to maximize social, economic and environmental quality. For a more detailed description see http://www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/forestry/urban/index.htm.
What Makes a Strong Urban and Community Forestry Program?
Step 1: Intent to Apply.
If you or your organization is considering applying for this grant, you must submit this Intent to Apply Form. You may submit an Intent to Apply any time during the year, and our staff will follow up with you on your idea. Final full proposals are due twice a year, May 1 and November 1. Your Intent to Apply Form must be received at least one month in advance of these deadlines, and preferably two months in advance if you intend to apply for that round.
Who Can Apply?
Eligible groups include all units of local government and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. Local tree departments and citizen tree groups are specifically encouraged to apply.
What Can We Apply for under an Urban Forestry Grant?
This grant program seeks to fund projects which will result in sustained improvements in local capacity for excellent urban and community forestry management in six key areas. For more details on these areas, read the full grant application packet at http://www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/forestry/urban/06GrantApp.doc.
- Building and Strengthening Citizen Advocacy and Action Organizations: We seek to fund projects that develop, strengthen or sustain citizen groups or non-profit organizations that advocate and / or act to promote excellent urban and community forestry management.
- Developing and Adopting Tree and Forest Ordinances and Policies: We seek to fund projects to develop, approve and implement new ordinances, zoning regulations or written policies that will result in improved tree and forest management and the preservation of tree canopy on a community scale.
- Securing or Training Professional Staff: All Massachusetts communities should have a qualified Tree Warden with professional training. Communities over 10,000 are required to do so by law. We will consider projects that result in sustained improvements in professional staffing in a municipality’s urban and community forestry program.
- Develop and Implement Urban Forestry Management Plan: We seek to fund the development and implementation of plans that guide the strategic management of urban forest resources at the community level.
- Attain Tree City USA Award: We seek to fund projects which result in new communities achieving the Tree City USA designation. See www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/forestry/urban/urbanFAQs.htm for more information.
- Completing Strategic Community Tree Plantings and "Heritage" Tree Care Projects: We will consider projects that include high visibility community tree plantings that enhance environmental and aesthetic quality, strengthen community involvement, and follow the principles of planting the right trees in the right places. We will also consider projects that include professional arborist care of "Heritage" trees (those larger trees over 32" in diameter that have a documented cultural and/or historical significance) if these projects also result in enhanced public awareness and support for urban and community forestry and / or improved community tree care.
- Other Projects: We may consider some well-conceived and executed projects which result in sustained improvements to urban and community forestry management in other areas.
How Much Can We Apply for under an Urban Forestry Grant?
Grant awards range from $1,000 to $30,000. Applicants should apply for the amount of challenge funds that their projects require. Larger communities are likely to be more competitive for larger grant amounts. Remember all grants must be matched 50-50 by local funds or in-kind contributions.
DCR - National Grid Partnership Challenge Grants
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Urban and Community Forestry Program in partnership with the National Grid Company is offering matching grants to specific municipalities in which National Grid has completed their ACT Reliability Improvement Program. These grants are made for the purposes of community tree replacement planting and building local capacity for excellent urban and community forestry.
Eligible Communities Currently Include (but may not be limited to):
- Great Barrington
- North Andover
If your community is eligible for this grant, you must submit an Intent to Apply Form, and our staff will follow up with you on your idea.
Urban Forestry Environmental Justice Pilot Grant Program
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Urban and Community Forestry Program, in collaboration with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), offers competitive 75-25 matching grants to municipalities and non-profit organizations working in environmental justice (EJ) communities in Massachusetts. The purpose of these grants is to advance environmental equity, improve environmental quality, and build local capacity for urban and community forestry in environmental justice communities. Please find more information on this targeted Urban Forestry Challenge Grant offering at Urban Forestry Environmental Justice Pilot Grant Program. Please note that this grant offering is a sub-set of our regular Urban Forest Challenge Grants. Applicants should submit the documents found at the link above in addition to the full application found under the Urban Forest Challenge Grant section of this web page.
DCR - NSTAR Go Green Grant Program
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Urban and Community Forestry Program in partnership with the NSTAR Company is offering matching grants to municipalities in the NSTAR service area. For every NSTAR customer who switches from a paper NSTAR utility bill format to an electronic bill, NSTAR will make a donation to the Mass ReLeaf Trust Fund to support the DCR Urban Forestry Challenge Grant Program. These grants are made for the purposes of community tree replacement planting and building local capacity for excellent urban and community forestry.
Municipalities in the NSTAR Service Area and eligible for the grant program can be found at the link below.
If your community is eligible for this grant, you must submit an Intent to Apply Form, and our staff will follow up with you on your idea.
If you have questions about this grant program, please contact Eric Seaborn at 617-626-1468 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant Writing Resources
TreeLink offers an urban and community forestry grant writing tutorial
on-line at: www.treelink.org/grants/
Additional Related Grant Opportunities
Other State Program and Private Foundations also offer grants related
to Urban and Community Forestry in Massachusetts. Before applying
for any grant program, we urge you to contact our staff to assist you
(see contacts pages) as our staff has experience in applying for many
of these programs.
Greenways and Trails Demonstration Grants Program
Other DCR Grant Programs
Massachusetts Environmental Trust
National Urban and Community
Forestry Advisory Council Grants: Off Site
US EPA Environmental
Grants: Off Site
Foundations in Massachusetts: Off Site
Consider sitting down with your local Community Foundation and talking with them about ways to fund urban and community forestry locally.
Berkshire-Taconic Community Foundation, 271 Main Street , Great Barrington, MA, 01230 , Contact: Jennifer Dowley, (800) 969-2823, www.berkshiretaconic.org
The Boston Foundation, 75 Arlington St. , Boston , MA 02116 , Contact: Paul Grogan, 617-338-1700, www.tbf.org
The Brookline Community Fund, 40 Webster Place , Brookline , MA 02447 , Contact: Betsy DeWitt, 617-566-4442, www.brooklinefund.org
Cambridge Community Foundation, 99 Bishop Allen Drive , Cambridge , MA 02139 , Contact: Robert S. Hurlbut, Jr., (617) 576-9966
Community Foundation of Cape Cod, 259 Willow St., PO Box 406 , Yarmouthport , MA 02675 , Contact: Elizabeth Gawron, 800-947-2322, www.capecodfoundation.org
Crossroads Community Foundation, 21 Eliot Street , Natick , MA 01760 , Contact: Becca Donham, (508) 647-2260, www.ccfdn.org
Essex County Community Foundation, 49 Salem St. , Topsfield , MA 01983 , Contact: David Tory , (978) 887-8876, www.eccf.org
Greater Lowell Community Foundation, 169 Merrimack Street , 5th floor, Lowell , MA 01852 , Contact: David Kronberg, (978) 970-1600, www.glcfoundation.org
Greater Worcester Community Foundation, 370 Main St., Suite 650 , Worcester , MA 01608 , Contact: Ann T. Lisi, (508) 755-0980, www.greaterworcester.org
The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, 915 South Street , Fitchburg , MA 01420 , Contact: Phillip Grzewinski, (978) 345-8383, www.cfncm.org
Permanent Endowment for Martha's Vineyard , c/o Duke's County Bank, PO Box 602, West Tisbury , MA 02575 , Contact: John Ware, (508) 693-0721
South Shore and Neponset Valley Community Foundation, 430 Adams St. , Quincy , MA 02169 , Contact: Rick Iacobucci, (617) 471-3332
Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, 105 William Street , New Bedford , MA 02742 , Contact: Anne M. Beaulieu, (508) 996-8253, www.cfsema.org
Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, 1500 Main Street, Suite 1800 , Springfield , MA 01115 , Contact: Sandra Eagleton, (413) 732-2858, www.communityfoundation.org
The New England Grassroots Environment Fund provides small grants and training to support truly grassroots environmental initiatives. For more information, go to www.grassrootsfund.org .
The V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation believes that the public deserves to be as well informed as possible on environmental issues, and that corporations and institutions should address environmental issues in a responsible way.
The Captain Planet Foundation provides grants ranging from $250 - $2,500 for projects that: promote understanding of environmental issues; focus on hands-on involvement; involve children and young adults 6-18 (elementary through high school); promote interaction and cooperation within the group; help young people develop planning and problem solving skills; include adult supervision and commit to follow-up communication with the Foundation (specific requirements are explained once the grant has been awarded). Submission deadline December 31, 2003 . For more info go on-line to: www.captainplanetfdn.org.
The Acorn Foundation supports projects dedicated to building a sustainable future for the planet and to restoring a healthy global environment. The foundation is particularly interested in small and innovative community-based projects which: preserve and restore habitats supporting biological diversity and wildlife; advocate for environmental justice, particularly in low-income and indigenous communities; and prevent or remedy toxic pollution. The Acorn Foundation makes grants in the $5,000 to $10,000 range to grassroots organizations. Application deadlines for proposals are January 15th and June 15th (postmarked by these dates) for Spring and Fall grantmaking meetings. Decisions usually take at least 6 months from date of submittal. More info is available on-line at www.commoncounsel.org/.
The Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust funds projects in New England in the areas of health, education and the environment and is particularly interested in projects that primarily benefit underserved populations and disadvantaged communities in New England, as well as projects that focus on prevention rather than remediation. The Trust is interested in supporting environmental projects which will have a positive impact on: protection of critical natural resources; energy
conservation; public awareness of the critical environmental issues facing the region; protection of the public's health, especially in low income or minority communities. The trust is also interested in fostering collaborations among nonprofit organizations. Grant awards range from $25,000 - $ 75,000 (average award = $ 35,000). The deadline for submitting concept papers is January 15 , April 15, July 15 and October 15. For more information, contact: The Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, Select Client Services, Hemenway & Barnes, 60 State Street, Boston, MA 02109-1899, (617) 227-7940, x 775, email@example.com.
The Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund's Environment Program supports open space land acquisition. The Fund will consider projects throughout New England but has a preference for those in Massachusetts , particularly in the Boston area. Submission deadlines for proposals are: February 1, June 1, and October 1. For more information and copy of grant guidelines, contact Jo Anne Borek, Executive Director, Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund, 10 Post Office Square, Suite 995 , Boston , MA 02109 -4603 or call (617) 451-6178.
The Jane's Trust makes grants to organizations in Massachusetts and other geographic locations in the areas of Arts and Culture, Education, Environment, and Health and Welfare. The Trustees are interested particularly in organizations and projects which primarily benefit underserved populations and disadvantaged communities. Grants range from $50,000 to $1,000,000. Approximately $9 million will be awarded annually for the next 35 years. In their environmental program area the Trust aims to protect and enhance the natural environment and to conserve natural resources in its geographical areas of interest. Grants for the environment will be made to support a variety of objectives, including:
- Meaningful and innovative contributions to protection of critical or historically significant rural and urban natural resources;
- Efforts that have a beneficial impact on the quality of life for underserved populations.
For more information see http://www.hembar.com/selectsrv/janes/.
The Home Depot supports community forestry, and community forestry projects in local communities. There is a Home Depot Foundation which gives larger grants to support community forestry activities in the United States. The Home Depot Corporation and local stores give Community Impact Grants of up to $3,000, provide volunteers and materials in local communities. For more information see www.homedepot.com/HDUS/EN_US/corporate/corp_respon/outreach_grants or contact your local store.