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Grants to California Nonprofits and Agencies in Eligible Locations to Acquire and Improve Open Spaces

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USA: California: Sonoma County

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Matching Grant Program (MGP)

Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space)

Agency: Local

GrantWatch ID #141961

Grant Description

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Grants to California nonprofit organizations and local government agencies in eligible locations to ensure open spaces are available to residents. Funding may be requested for land acquisition and improvements. Preference is given to projects in areas recently affected by floods or fires. Projects should be located within or near either an incorporated Sonoma County city or unincorporated community.

The Matching Grant Program (MGP) is a community-driven matching grant program run by Ag + Open Space. The intention of the MGP is to protect vibrant lands and create inviting open spaces within cities and communities and at the urban edge, providing an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to experience open space in and near Sonoma County’s population centers. Matching Grant projects have the potential to transform communities, providing places to find solitude, hold public gatherings, get some exercise, grow local food, and to experience and learn about the importance of natural resources and agriculture in the landscape. The program aims to bring these benefits to all of Sonoma County’s diverse and unique communities

The MGP has two general categories of eligible project types: Acquisition and/or Improvement. Projects may include elements of both project types.

Acquisition projects include, but are not limited to, the purchase of land for:

  1. Restoration and/or enhancement of significant natural areas, including oak woodlands, marshes, wetlands, uplands, riparian corridors, and other critical habitat areas.
  2. Public access to open space and outdoor recreational and educational amenities, such as urban parks, greenways, athletic fields, trails, and access to rivers and other waterways.
  3. Farmland that provides urban greenspace and access to locally grown food and fiber and provides opportunities for the public to experience farming, agricultural production, and/or food and fiber production. 

Improvement projects include, but are not limited to:

  1. Restoration and/or enhancement of significant natural areas, including oak woodlands, marshes, wetlands, uplands, riparian corridors, and other critical habitat areas.
  2. Development of connections between communities, public parks, or public lands within and adjacent to urban areas. Preference may be given to projects that are part of a planned or existing regional trail system.
  3. Implementation or construction of new site improvements for, and that facilitate, outdoor public recreation and education including public access to open spaces and parks for outdoor recreational use, including trails, trailheads, picnic and staging areas, athletic fields, and outdoor classrooms.
  4. Construction of new site improvements necessary for agricultural uses, including wildlife-friendly livestock fencing, garden beds, and picnic areas. 

More information about eligible project categories can be found at

Projects in Fire and Flood impacted areas

Funding through the MGP provides an opportunity for Ag + Open Space to participate in efforts to recover and rebuild in communities impacted by extreme events such as fire and flood. Eligible and competitive applications for community open space projects located in areas directly impacted by recent fire and/or flood events will be given additional preference as described in the Evaluation Matrix.

More information about priority areas can be found at

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include public agencies and 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

Information about ineligible project categories can be found at

Pre-proposal Conference:

For those interested in applying to the Matching Grant Program 2022, Ag + Open Space is hosting a virtual workshop:
- Date: April 21, 2022
- Time: 4:00 – 5:30pm
- Join the Zoom webinar here:
- Or dial (669) 900-9128
- Use webinar ID: 965 4306 5063 and Passcode: 870010

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are being accepted from April 21 – July 1, 2022.

All applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday July 1, 2022.

The MGP requires a matching contribution ratio of 1:1 – meaning for every dollar Ag + Open Space grants, the partner must also contribute at least a dollar of match. However, highly competitive projects that cannot guarantee the full match may be considered if the applicant can demonstrate that it has the skills, experience, and capacity to successfully implement, operate, and maintain the project. In such cases, Ag + Open Space may approve a grant secured by a smaller match contribution. Project budgets must demonstrate how the combined grant and partner match will provide sufficient funds to complete the project and maintain it over time. All estimated project costs must reflect current or projected market conditions and total project cost should be a reasonable estimate of the cost to complete the project. Projects that have already secured 100% of their matching funds will be the most competitive


Webinar recording:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Term of Contract:

For acquisition projects, applicants complete the acquisition of the project property and expend Ag + Open Space’s grant funds and matching funds within three years from the date the Board accepts the project into the MGP.

For improvement projects, applicants must expend Ag + Open Space’s grant funds within five years from the date the Board accepts the project into the MGP

Contact Information:

Address print and electronic submittals to:

Lori S. MacNab, Matching Grant Cycle 2022 Coordinator
Sonoma County Ag + Open Space
747 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 100
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Direct questions to:
Lori S. MacNab, Matching Grant Cycle 2022 Coordinator
(707) 565.7360,

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