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Urban and Community Forestry Comprehensive Challenge Grants

Grants to South Dakota Nonprofits and
Agencies for Urban Forestry Projects

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South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) - Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry

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Grants of up to $5,000 to South Dakota nonprofit organizations and local government agencies to address specific community forestry issues or promote the importance of trees in communities throughout the state. Applicants must consult with program staff in developing a proposal.

Urban area expansion and inner-city decline is a national problem that continues to impact basic ecological functions essential to a healthy and productive society. Healthy trees and forests in urban areas contribute to improved air and water quality, watershed function, energy conservation and social well-being. The quality of life in cities and towns will be enhanced by effective State programs that foster cooperative efforts to plan for, plant, protect and maintain community trees, forests and related natural resources. Partnerships created through such programs will lead to an engaged citizenry committed to building healthy and viable communities for themselves and future generations. An effective urban and community forestry assistance program provides a foundation for meeting these goals.

The Forest Service provides national Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Program funding, leadership, and coordination. Program delivery occurs primarily at the state level, through State Foresters and key partners. State U&CF Councils advises the State Forester on program direction and priorities. Other partners play an important role in expanding public and private partnerships that promote the management of urban and community forests.

State Sub-Grant (Challenge Grants) - National Guidelines:

The following requirements must be met under a South Dakota sub-grant:

1. States will establish criteria and comply with U&CF Program direction, appropriate Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars, and applicable Federal and State regulations.

2. While tree planting is an allowable use of funds, the states shall establish limits on the percentage of funds available for tree planting.

3. Tree planting projects must include a work plan and a maintenance plan approved by the State Forester or his/her designee. Other U&CF projects must have a work plan and a defined product or measurable outcome.

4. Plant materials used in tree planting must, at a minimum, meet the American Standard for Nursery Stock, and tree protection and maintenance must meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards.

5. Sub grantees are required to adhere to all Federal rules and guidelines of the State pursuant to this program.

National Measures:

A community must show that they are moving toward accomplishing the following national performance measures through their grant proposal:

1. Management Plans: The communities must have a current and active urban and community tree and forest management plan supported by professionally-based resource assessments/inventories.

2. Professional Staff: The community relies on the services of individuals who have one or more of the following credentials, and who are directly employed or retained through written agreement to advise and/or assist in the planting, protection, and maintenance of urban and community trees and forests:

a. Degree in urban forestry or a closely related field (e.g. forestry, horticulture, arboriculture, etc.)

b. International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist or equivalent professional certification.
These requirements are intended to ensure that the person with the primary responsibility for program management has the training and experience to properly and professionally manage the urban forest resource and advance the community's U&CF program.

3. Ordinances/Policies: The community has adopted and can present documentation of local/statewide ordinances or policies that focus on planting, protecting, and maintaining their urban and community trees and forests.

4. Advocacy/Advisory Organization: The community has local citizen’s groups, and these groups serve as a catalyst for active local urban forest resource management within the community.

State Criteria for Challenge Grants:

The state has developed a “comprehensive challenge grant” that involves increased commitment and effort from the local community. The criteria for the challenge grant are outlined below. Communities can apply for a grant with any number of criteria. Applicant can only apply for one tree planting grant each year.

a. Professional Services - The costs associated with the procurement of professional services may be covered by this grant. These expenses must be matched by actual (hard dollar) expenditures by the community - no soft match can be used. Grant funds must be used for professional tree care advice and planning efforts. Professional services shall be defined as having education, training, and experience in the fields of urban forestry, arboriculture, forestry, natural resource management, and/or horticulture.

b. Tree Inventory/Assessment - The costs associated with community tree inventory projects may be covered by this category. Grant funds must be used for the development and implementation of a community tree inventory.

c. Existing Tree Care & Maintenance - Tree pruning and tree care costs associated with existing trees may be covered under this category (ANSI A300 - 2005). Grant funds must be used for the care and maintenance of existing trees in a community.

d. Education/Training - The community may use this portion of the grant to cover the cost of educational or training opportunities for community staff, advisory board members, or local officials to receive training on urban forestry. Grant funds must be used for educating and training tree advisory groups, staff, and local officials in the proper care and management of urban forestry.

e. New Tree Planting - New trees may be planted in a community to augment or replace existing trees lost to disease or other factors. To receive reimbursement, the following standards must be in place:

-At a minimum, trees must be at least 1 1⁄4” caliper and a minimum of 8’ tall for deciduous species and at least 4’ tall for coniferous species (as defined in the American Standards Institute (ANSI) publication Z60.1 -2004 American Standards for Nursery Stock). Click here for the standards.

-Trees must have protection and maintenance in place that meets or exceeds ANSI A300 Standards for Tree Care Operations standards.

-Grant funds may only be used to purchase trees. Shrubs and other ornamental plants will not qualify for funding.

-All labor and other supplies and planting qualify as match for this grant.

-Only high-quality nursery stock trees will be eligible for reimbursement (park grade stock is not eligible). High-quality, for the purpose of this grant, refers to trees that are grown and obtained from a licensed nursery and that are: typical of their species or variety and of suitable hardiness for South Dakota. They must have self-supporting, straight trunks and strong central leaders. They must be free from injury, to include: scrapes, wounds, and improper pruning cuts. They must also be free from disease, insect, or other infestations. Containerized trees must show no signs of girdling. When in leaf, foliage must be full and vigorous. Whips are also excluded.

f. Other Activities - This category may be used to fund such activities as the development and implementation of a community website, specific to urban forestry. This category may also be used to develop any other projects specific to urban forestry and or arboriculture.

Projects must be on public lands or in public right of ways.

A RC&F forester must be present the first day of ground work on the grant.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172169

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants involving any of the other five criteria, or grants using two or more of the six criteria have a maximum limit of $5,000. Communities can apply for a grant with any number of criteria. Maximum limits listed above must be followed and any combinations of criteria can have a total grant total of $5,000.

Maximum Limits:
-Professional Services: $5,000
-Tree Inventory/Assessment: $5,000
-Existing Tree Care and Maintenance: $1,000 - An applicant may receive a maximum of $1,000 per year for existing tree care and maintenance.
-Education/Training: $5,000
-New Tree Planting: $1,000 - An applicant may receive a maximum of $1,000 per year for new tree plantings.
-Other Activities: $5,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants provide assistance to local units of government, or approved nonprofit organizations that meet the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Grant funds may not be used for tree removal.

Pre-Application Information:

All projects require a 50/50 match. This match must be shown in the application. The grant will reimburse the applicant for no more than 50% of the documented expenses.

To be eligible for a grant, you must obtain professional advice from the Division of Resource Conservation & Forestry (RCF). Assistance will ensure the tree species selected are suitable for the site and the planting plans are compatible with the parameters of the grant.

Applications must be submitted by November 20, 2017.

More information regarding deadlines and submissions may be found here:

Contact Information:

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

For assistance with applications and grant questions please contact your local forester:

SD Department of Agriculture
Resource Conservation & Forestry
523 E. Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-3182

P: 605.773.3623
F: 605.773.4003

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Dakota