December 11, 2023
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The submission window for the Texas A&M Forest Service Community Forestry Grant Program is now open and will close February 16, 2024.
The Community Forestry Grant Program is offering more than $16 million in competitive grant opportunities for community, civic and neighborhood groups to promote the management and enhancement of urban and community forest ecosystems and provide positive impacts throughout the state of Texas. Public and non-profit entities eligible for these grants include State and local government agencies, public education institutions, NGOs or non-profits, tribal entities and public utility districts.
The seven grant categories are Human Health Equity and Accessibility, Municipal Foresters, Geospatial Analysis 65, Climate Resiliency, Tree City USA, Tree Planting and Schoolyard Forests.
“We are able to offer an unprecedented amount of grants through the Community Forestry Grant Program this year,” said Mac Martin, Texas A&M Forest Service Community Forestry Program Leader. “The goal of this grant program is to provide resources that contribute to the holistic development of future generations and address key issues related to health, resilience and community well-being through sustainable forest management.”
Another goal outlined in the foundation of the grant program is to increase tree coverage to 30% on Texas school campuses through schoolyard forests grants.
“Green spaces are essential in students’ development,” said Martin. “Trees and greenspaces are proven to serve as a strong physical and mental health aid to all ages but especially among children. By introducing students to forests at a young age, they will have access to the multitude of mental and physical health benefits of trees alongside a practical introduction to the important role of forests and trees play within their local ecosystems.”
Funding for the program was significantly increased this year through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Service Inflation Reduction Act Urban and Community Forestry Program, which will help Texas expand its urban forest canopy, improve air and water quality, reduce energy consumption and enhance the health and well-being of residents.
The application worksheets for the grants are available in preparation for the official application submission. These documents contain instructions, requirements and a question form for each category required at the time of proposal submission. A guidance document is available to serve as a manual for how the grants can be prepared, frequently asked questions and helpful tips.
Kate Faris, Community Forestry Grants Program Specialist, will be holding a grant webinar December 14, from noon- 1 p.m. The webinar will serve as an informational opportunity for interested organizations to learn more about the general timeline, details and requirements of the grant application.
Faris will also hold one-on-one meetings with interested organizations January 10, 17 and 24. This will provide an opportunity for interested organizations to ask questions and gain further guidance specific to their organization, grant category and application. The registration for these meetings will be shared in the Community Forestry Grants Newsletter.
For information regarding one-on-one grant meetings, newsletter sign-ups and submission details and regulations, visit here: Community Forestry Grant Program.