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FY18 Conservation Partnership Grant

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits to Acquire
Land for Conservation and Outdoor Recreation

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)

Deadline Date:

07/17/17 3:00 PM Receipt


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Grants of up to $10,000 and grants of up to $85,000 to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations and conservation districts to acquire land to convert for recreation and conservation purposes. The purpose of this program is to preserve valuable natural resources to ensure that state residents have access to outdoor recreation opportunities.

Projects that allow for multiple recreational opportunities, including hunting, involve lands in BioMap2, comprise rare ecotypes or habitats, or that are large and abut other protected lands are preferred. Projects that protect a State Priority Preservation Area as shown on the South Coast Rail Corridor Plan, Merrimack Valley Land Use Priority Plan, or the 495/MetroWest Development Compact Plan, or other regional plan as they become available (if applicable) are also preferred.

Types of eligible projects are:

1) Land or conservation restriction purchased by an eligible Applicant

An eligible Applicant may request grant funding for reimbursement of approved acquisition and due diligence costs associated with the purchase of land (fee simple title) or of an interest in land (conservation restriction). Conversion of a term-limited CR to a permanent CR is eligible for funding.

2) Due diligence costs for acquisitions or gifts to an eligible Applicant

An eligible Applicant may request grant funding for reimbursement of approved due diligence costs associated with a land or conservation restriction gift being donated to the Applicant or for the due diligence costs associated with the acquisition of land by an Applicant.

Eligible expense categories:
-Title search
-Acquisition (appraised value or negotiated price, whichever is less)
-Baseline Documentation Report
-Chapter 21E assessment
-Legal fees associated with the acquisition
-Recording fees

NOTE: Preservation of Agricultural Land: Executive Order 193 discourages the irreversible conversion of the Commonwealth’s productive agricultural land base. State grants shall not be used to encourage the irreversible conversion of agricultural land to other uses when feasible alternatives are available. In the event that all feasible alternatives have been explored, and the conversion of suitable agricultural lands to non-agricultural use, such as habitat, remains the only feasible alternative to protection of open space, a mitigation plan must be developed to be eligible for reimbursement under a state grant. Projects that would convert any prime agricultural lands should consult with the Department Agricultural Resources prior to submitting an application.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172330

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum grant award for a single acquisition project is $85,000; for due diligence for gifts, the maximum award for a single project is $10,000.

Term of Contract:

The contract period will begin on the date that EEA signs the contract. Contracts issued pursuant to this BID must expend 100% of costs associated with the approved project on or before June 30, 2018 in order to be eligible for reimbursement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This program provides funding to assist non-public, not-for-profit corporations, and conservation districts.

This bid is open to qualified IRS 501(c)(3) organizations that have been formed for one of the purposes described in Section 4 of Chapter 180 of the General Laws. An organization must have 501(c)(3) status at the time an application is submitted.

Municipalities are not eligible for funding.

Land that is already permanently protected through Article 97 (through an EEA grant program, Conservation Restriction, or Agricultural Preservation Restriction) is not eligible for funding. Lands enrolled in Chapter 61, 61a or 61b are not classified as permanently protected land and are eligible to receive funding. The Applicant must apply for the interest in land that they plan on holding in perpetuity.

Ineligible expense categories:
-Costs associated with preparation and submission of application in response to BID
-Staff salaries
-Trail construction
-Stewardship or monitoring endowments
-Equipment or goods

Please note that this is not a complete list.

Pre-Application Information:

Projects that would convert any prime agricultural lands should consult with the Department Agricultural Resources prior to submitting an application.

The maximum reimbursement amount available for a single project is 50% of the total eligible project cost up to the grant award maximum. Exceptions may be made at the Secretary’s discretion.

Applicants selected to receive grant funding must use funds from non-state sources that total to at least double the grant request (i.e., the project budget must show funds from non-state sources for at least twice the grant amount requested from the Applicant).

Non-state funding sources include, but are not limited to, other grants from private or nonprofit foundations and cash contributions from local partners or individuals.

Applications must be received in hard copy by 3:00 PM, Monday, July 17, 2017. A postmark will not be accepted for verification of date of submission.

Awards are estimated to be announced on or about 120 days after the application deadline, with contract negotiations to begin immediately thereafter. Please note this is an estimated timeframe, subject to change based on availability of funds and other factors.

Contact Information:

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

For projects involving prime agricultural lands, contact the Department Agricultural Resources at (617) 626-1700.

Program Contact:

Melissa Cryan
(617) 626-1171

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor
Boston, MA 02114

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts