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Free Trees for Fall Planting

In-Kind Grants of Trees to Nebraska Nonprofits and
Schools for Planting Projects that Benefit the Public

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Nebraska Forest Service and Nebraska Statewide Arboretum

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In-kind grants of trees to Nebraska nonprofit organizations, schools, and civic organizations for tree planting projects in public areas that are of significance and benefit to local residents. Priority will be given to impactful projects in areas of high need, including neighborhoods and along streets. Eligible planting sites include, but are not limited to, street right-of-way, parks, school grounds, college campuses, the grounds of civic buildings, recreation areas, common areas, and cemeteries.

The purpose of Free Trees for Fall Planting is to help celebrate and enable the planting of trees in fall, the best time of the year to plant trees. Support from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the US Forest Service is used to provide trees and education about trees. 

High impact projects (street trees, high need neighborhoods, etc.) and projects with an extensive outreach component will be given priority to receive the maximum number of trees. Emphasis will be on a diversity of large-maturing trees (over 40 feet).

Trees can be planted in front yards of private property if they will shade public streets and sidewalks.

The Free Trees for Fall Planting program has several goals:

  • Celebrate trees and promote the value of healthy trees for a healthy community.
  • Prioritize tree planting in high impact areas, such as along streets and neighborhoods of highest need.
  • Plant at least 500 high-quality trees in Nebraska communities in conjunction with tree-related educational events and community celebrations to promote trees and fall planting.
  • Award tree advocates by giving priority to Tree City USA tree boards, Tree Campus USA schools, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum curators, individuals volunteering/supporting community forestry programs and Project Learning Tree facilitators.
  • Assist volunteers and non-profit partners such as business improvement districts, neighborhood associations, government agencies, and other public or private entities with tree planting in public spaces and areas of civic importance.
  • Promote the healthy establishment and ongoing care of newly planted trees.
  • Increase resiliency of the community forest by promoting a broader diversity of native and well-adapted nonnative tree species. A special emphasis will be placed on the planting of reliable, yet underutilized trees species.
  • Provide educational opportunities for people to learn more about trees and their proper selection, siting, planting and care. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162033

Estimated Size of Grant:

Support from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the US Forest Service is used to provide trees and education about trees. The program does not provide direct funding for trees to recipients but provides pre-selected trees to recipients.

A maximum of 10 trees will be allowed for any single request. The minimum awarded will be one.

Term of Contract:

Projects should be implemented between September 1 and November 15, 2021 (October 15 for Panhandle) unless an extension has been requested and granted. If possible, projects should be implemented and/or promoted around selected outreach events.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Schools, non-profit groups and civic organizations are encouraged to apply. Individuals must represent a group or organization.

Priority will be given to applicants who are NCFC Members, Tree City USA tree boards, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum curators, individuals volunteering/supporting community forestry programs and Project Learning Tree facilitators.

Projects must be located in Nebraska.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for application is July 31st, 2021. Qualifying projects/applicants will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis.

A map/image (such as Google map) showing the proposed planting should be submitted with the application.

Recipients, especially those requesting less than 5 trees, may be required to pick up from a regional drop site.

All applicants must receive written permission from property owners/managers before planting.

Matching Requirement: All projects are required to contribute an in-kind match by including outreach, educational and/or media components in the tree planting to increase public awareness of the benefits of trees and the need for diversity and proper tree care. Assistance is available to promote your event.

Recipients must conduct a public outreach effort (community tree celebration, volunteer planting, newspaper article, etc.) and report activities to the NFS.

All trees will be expected to be properly maintained after planting.

Tree planting tips:

Contact Information:

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

All applications must be emailed to Kendall Weyers at
Include the email subject: ‘2021 Mini Grant – (INSERT COMMUNITY)’

Direct questions to Kendall Weyers at (402) 472-6693 or at the above email address.

Nebraska Forest Service
Forestry Hall
P.O. Box 830815
Lincoln, NE 68588-0815

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Nebraska

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