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2019 Urban and Community Forestry Grants Program (Round 15)

Grants to New York Nonprofits, Municipalities, and Governmental and
Quasi-Governmental Agencies for Community and Urban Forestry Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

Deadline Date:

12/04/19 2:00 PM


Request a Grant Writer

Grants starting at $11,000 to New York nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and governmental and quasi-governmental agencies for community and urban forestry projects. Nonprofit applicants must prequalify in the online grants system prior to applying. Funding is intended for tree inventory, community forest management planning, tree planting, tree maintenance, and educational programming projects.

Grant projects must implement successful tree inventory, community forest management planning, tree planting, tree maintenance, or education programing projects in New York State to create healthy urban and community forests, while enhancing the quality of life for urban residents. Projects must be implemented on non-state-owned properties in a location where they provide a public benefit. 

Eligible Projects:

  1. Tree Inventory: Use Grants Gateway Opportunity ID No. DEC01-UCF1-2019 to apply
    • DEC recommends an applicant work with an ISA Certified Arborist to conduct an inventory of existing trees, stumps and potential planting spaces prior to developing a management plan or implementing a planting or maintenance project. Inventory projects are encouraged to get a picture of the size, species, health, and geographic distribution of the urban forest. A complete inventory (on public property, i.e. street and park trees) provides specific information for individualized tree care, including risk tree identification.
  2. Community Forest Management Plan: Use Grants Gateway Opportunity ID No. DEC01-UCF1-2019 to apply. 
    • The CFMP will be based on tree inventory data to address environmental issues and risk management. The CFMP documents the steps necessary to elevate the community forest to a sustainable level that will expand its benefits and assure they are available to all residents over a period of time. This CFMP will provide a record and understanding of what currently exists while managing the future goals of the community. 
  3. Tree Planting: Use Grants Gateway Opportunity ID No: DEC01-UCF2-2019 to apply.
    • Tree planting applications should address how the project will promote the quality of the urban forest in parks and/or open spaces; habitat creation; air and water quality; energy savings; increased property values; revitalization; public health; and/or improved quality of life for residents. Tree planting projects may not be located on state-owned property except for designated state-owned roadways within cities, villages and towns. Applications should include a brief 5-year planting and maintenance plan to ensure trees are planted correctly and that the plantings will be successful in the long-term (e.g. inspection on receipt, quality of roots and trees, planting depth, regular inspections, watering, pruning, stake removal, etc.).
  4.  Tree Maintenance: Use Grants Gateway Opportunity ID No. DEC01-UCF2-2019 to apply
    • For a tree maintenance grant application to be considered, the complete tree inventory or the portion of the inventory where the project is located is required to be uploaded with the application, except in cases of stormdamaged tree remediation where a state of emergency was declared. Inventories must be actively managed and less than 8 years old. Tree maintenance projects should include documentation of intent to use professional, certified arborist services, or municipal staff trained in best management practices according to the International Society of Arboriculture for tree maintenance. Priority should be given to risk trees identified in the tree inventory and management plan. 
  5. Education Programming: Non-profit organizations and quasigovernmental entities only. Use Grants gateway opportunity DEC01-UCF3-2019.
    • The goal of this category is to train municipal staff and volunteer groups who assist in maintaining the urban forest. 

Details of each type of eligible projects can be found starting at

Eligible costs can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 129122

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

- Large Community Grants: Applicants may request a minimum grant amount of $11,000, up to a maximum amount of $75,000.
- Small Community Grants: Applicants may request a minimum grant amount of $11,000, up to a maximum amount of $50,000.

Term of Contract:

The activity for the request must fall within the contract term which is projected to begin on May 1, 2020 and end on April 30, 2022.

All projects must have defined objectives, tasks, and deliverables accounted for in performance measures that can be completed and invoiced within a two-year contract term.

Applicants should not begin their projects or incur costs until a Master Contract for Grants (MCG) has been fully approved by DEC, and if applicable approved by the Attorney General and the State Comptroller.

The possibility of a one year, no cost time extension (NCTE) beyond the MCG contract term end date will be determined by the Department based upon written justification from the Grantee. Applicants should not apply if they do not anticipate their project can be completed within the specified contract term

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

For the purposes of this grant program, the following entities are considered eligible applicants:

1. New York State governmental entities, municipalities, and quasi-governmental entities including, but not limited to, counties, cities, towns, villages, or Indian nation or tribe recognized by the State or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State, or any combination thereof, public benefit corporations, public authorities, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts, school districts, and community colleges.
2. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations whose projects are located within the eligible geographic boundaries defined in this Request For Applications (RFA).

Individuals and unincorporated groups may not apply, but an eligible not-for-profit organization, known as a fiscal sponsor, may apply on behalf of an individual or unincorporated group.

Not-For-Profit Eligibility: An eligible applicant must be a not-for-profit corporation (NFP) community-based organization, or a community-based organization may partner with a NFP that will serve as their fiscal sponsor.

UCF Ineligible Costs:

The following costs are not eligible for match or for reimbursement for any of the UCF grant opportunities:
- Indirect/Overhead: Costs including accounting fees, insurance, interest, legal fees (except ordinances), rent, repairs, telephone bills, space/property, and utilities; contingencies.
- Travel: Staff and/or contractor travel between the home location and the project site.
- Application preparation: Costs associated with preparing the grant application.
- Outside contract term: Costs incurred prior to an award or prior to a contract start date or after the contract end date. A contract term start and end date will be determined by DEC at the time of an official award. Anticipate a contract start date to be approximately 60 – 90 days from the date of an official award.
- Other state or federal funding: Costs paid from other state or federal funding sources are not eligible for reimbursement.
- Equipment: For the purposes of this grant round, drones will not be funded.
- Other state or federal funding: Costs paid from other state or federal funding sources are not eligible for reimbursement.

Pre-Application Information:

- Grants Gateway Training Webinar and Program Informational Session: Thursday, October 10, 2019
- Application Period Begins: Thursday, October 3, 2019
- Question & Answer Period Ends: Thursday, October 31, 2019
- Applications Due: Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 2:00 PM
- Award(s) Announced by (anticipated): May 2020

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of the application deadline. Late applications will not be accepted. Applicants will be unable to click “submit” or make changes to the application after the deadline has passed. Applicants are encouraged to finish the online application at least one-week prior to the deadline, allowing time to double check that all mandatory requirements have been completed and to correct any technical errors.

All applicants must be registered with Grants Gateway to submit an application. In addition to registration, not-for-profits must also be prequalified at the time and date that the application is due. If you are not prequalified at that time and date, your application will not be considered. Please do not delay in beginning and completing the prequalification process. The state reserves 5 business days to review submitted prequalification applications. Applicants should not assume that their prequalification will be reviewed if they do not adhere to this timeframe.

Applicants may submit up to two applications. Multiple applications may not be for the same project or project location. If an applicant has a project in UCF Round 14, only one (1) application may be submitted for Round 15. If more than one application is submitted by a Round 14 awardee, the Department will only review the
first application submitted.

Match Requirement and Expenditures:
- Match is the portion of project expenditures not paid for with grant funds. Match funds are not required for Tree Inventory and Community Forestry Management Plan projects.
- Applicants must match twenty-five percent (25%) of the requested amount of grant funding. Eligible sources of match funds cannot come from other NYS or federal funding sources. Applicants will be required to provide the sources of all matching funds using the Match Worksheet in the Grants Gateway.
- Match can be from local and/or in-kind contributions. Local sources can include funding from other non-state and/or non-federal grant sources or from project partners. In-kind contributions are non-cash donations provided by non-state and/or non-federal third parties which can include equipment, supplies, services, and other expendable property. Matching share contributions must support the objectives outlined in the work plan.

Applications for all five project types (tree inventory, community forest management plan, education programming, tree planting, and tree maintenance) will be grouped into two lists, “Large Community Grants” and “Small Community Grants.”
- “Large Community Grants” applications will be selected for funding beginning with the highest down to the lowest ranked project until available funding for “Large Community Grants” projects is exhausted or no awardable “Large Community Grants” applications remain.
- “Small Community Grants” applications will be selected for funding beginning with the highest scored application down to the lowest ranked project until all available funding for “Small Community Grants” is exhausted or no awardable “Small Community Grants” applications remain.
- Tie Breaker: If there is a numerical tie between multiple applications within a funding category, the application that scores the highest in Cost-Effectiveness will determine placement on the ranked list. If a tie remains, the order in which applications were received will determine placement on the ranked list, with the earliest application placing highest.

Advance payments of up to 25% of the awarded grant amount may be available to not-for-profit grantees once a Master Contract for Grants (MCG) has been fully approved by all applicable State agencies. Municipalities are not eligible to receive advance payments under State Finance Law.

A grant information and Grants Gateway training webinar was held October 10, 2019, at 10AM. View recording at:

View Grant Opportunities on Grants Gateway:
- Tree Inventory and Community Forest Management Plan:
- Tree Planting and Tree Maintenance:
- Education Programming:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For general information on completing this application and for clarification of application requirements, contractual terms and procedures, contact:
Gloria VanDuyne
Program Coordinator, Urban Forestry
DEC Albany Contact Information:

For information about pre-qualification, registration and additional assistance with Grants Gateway, contact:
Grants Reform Team
(518) 474-5595

Division of Lands and Forests
Urban Forestry Program
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, New York 12233-4253

Funding or Pin Number:

UCF1-2019: Tree Inventory, Community Forest Management Plan; UCF2-2019: Tree Planting & Tree Maintenance; UCF3-2019: Education Programming

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York

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