Before Submitting Your Application: Hints
The Urban & Community Forestry Grant is not about planting trees. In fact, grant applications for the sole purpose of tree planting or beautification are generally not funded. Any tree planting should occur within a larger project is aimed at promoting and enhancing the tree population already present in the community.
Communities, interest groups, etc. may apply for grants yearly, although when funding is limited and project merits are solid, a first-time applicant may be selected before a repeat applicant. Repeat applicants should submit projects that are wholly new or that build upon previous grants projects and demonstrate a progression towards a self-sustaining urban forestry program.
Grant funding is not meant to replace funding for current programs, such as planting, maintenance or staffing. Prior to making an application:
- Consider your project in terms of how it fits with the NCFS goal of enhancing the benefits and sustainable management of urban forests.
- Ask whether it addresses any of the identified objectives:
- Reducing the impacts of land-use change and urbanization on forested landscapes in and around your urban areas
- Facilitating strategic planting and maintenance of community trees for public benefits
- Assisting your community with establishing and managing its urban forests
- Encouraging local policies and guidelines that sustain urban and community forests for the public's benefit
- Other questions to consider before making an application include:
- How does the project fit into the present approach to urban forestry in your community?
- What are the long-term effects, and is there a commitment within the community/organization to maintain the project goals?
- Is it the right time for the project? Will it be used to its full potential now or in the very near future?
- Can the project be completed within the 11-month grant period? Should it be divided into two components, the second of which can be applied for the following year? (NOTE: Due to funding limitations, multi-year projects cannot be guaranteed future funding.)
And, finally, if you have questions about any of these points and how your project idea fits, you can contact the U&CF Staff in your area.