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Matching Grant Program (MGP)

Grants to California Nonprofits and Agencies to
Acquire and Improve Open Spaces

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

06/30/20 5:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to California nonprofit organizations and local government agencies to ensure open spaces are available to residents of eligible regions. Funding may be requested for land acquisition and improvements. Prerference 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 MGP is a community-driven matching-grant program run by Ag + Open Space. It is intended to protect vibrant lands and create inviting 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, 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 provide opportunities for the public to experience farming, agricultural production, and/or food and fiber production.

Improvement projects (restoration, public access, agriculture, recreation development), 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 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.

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.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 141961

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Term of Contract:

For acquisition projects, applicants are expected to acquire 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.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Under this program, Ag + Open Space awards competitive matching grants to cities, the County, other public agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Eligible applicants include public agencies and 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

In some instances, a project application may be submitted by two or more eligible entities. If co-applying, both entities must be eligible to apply for funding.

NOTE: The entity purchasing the property (e.g. who will hold title to the property at closing), must be an eligible applicant or sign as a co-applicant on the application.

Projects that are not eligible for the MGP include, but are not limited to:

• Projects that involve acquisition of property through the power of eminent domain.
• Projects that replace existing facilities or amenities with facilities or amenities that have the same function or purpose.
• Projects that fulfill mitigation requirements for a public or private development project.
• Acquisition of, or interest in, land that restricts access to specific persons.
• Projects on property that Ag + Open Space owns.
• Projects on property that Ag + Open Space purchased and transferred to another entity.
• Projects where Ag + Open Space has contributed funding to acquire a conservation easement or to the fee purchase through the acquisition of a conservation easement outside of the Matching Grant Program.
• Projects that would implement conditions of approval for an unrelated development project.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Public Workshops

Friday, January 31, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 11, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Ag + Open Space offices
747 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa
(Parking and entrance off Carrillo St)

Pre-Application Information:

All applications for funding must be received by 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 2020.

The MGP requires applicants to provide a matching contribution at a ratio of one-to-one. The match may include both direct contribution and in-kind services and materials; however, no more than fifty percent (50%) of the match can be satis ed through operations and maintenance costs (O&M).

Contact Information:

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

Packages should be delivered to:

Jennifer Kuszmar, Matching Grant Program Coordinator
Sonoma County Ag + Open Space
Matching Grant Program
747 Mendocino Ave., Suite 100
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

To request an application, or for any questions, contact:

Jennifer Kuszmar, Matching Grant Program Coordinator
707.565.7266 |

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: Sonoma County

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