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Kaulunani Grant Program

Grants to Hawaii Nonprofits, Schools, and Organizations
for Urban Forestry Projects and Outreach

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Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) - Division of Forestry and Wildlife

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Grants starting at $500 to Hawaii nonprofits, schools, parks, community organizations, arboretums, and museums for urban forestry projects. Applicants requesting larger amounts must submit a pre-proposal or consult with program staff prior to applying.

Funding supports urban and community forestry projects, as well as Arbor Day tree giveaway programs across the state. Grant are awarded for projects that respond to a need identified in the Forest Action Plan (attached below).

The program is designed to encourage citizen involvement in creating and supporting long-term and sustained urban and community forestry programs in Hawai‘i.

Consideration will be given to qualifying proposals that:
-Meet a demonstrated Kaulunani urban forestry need as identified in the Urban Section (Issue 4) of the State’s Forest Action Plan (PDF) and the grant categories as listed on the guidelines.
-Help strengthen and develop local urban and community forestry capacity.
-Are cost effective.
-Provide clear and concise information.
-Respond to a community need.
-Have documented cash and in-kind matching commitments.
-Demonstrate culturally diverse involvement in the planning, implementation and/or outreach stages of the project. Examples: involving culturally diverse populations in project development, or; directing efforts towards low-income and/or culturally diverse communities.
-Involve partnerships.
-Utilize personnel that have qualifications to complete activities.
-Have adequate volunteer involvement.
-Will include adequate outreach efforts that generate local visibility, incorporate public relations and improve program awareness.

For Tree planting projects successful projects will:
-Have a well thought out planting and maintenance plan.
-Meet the plant budget requirement: At least 70% of the plant budget must be for trees, no more than 20% for shrubs and no more than 10% for ground covers.
-Involve personnel with the qualifications and skills to undertake the project.
-Include a certified arborist or landscape professional on the committee
-Have adequate volunteer support.
-Show a commitment to the long-term maintenance of the project.
-Include adequate outreach efforts that generate local visibility, incorporate public relations and improve program awareness.

Eligible Projects:

Eligible Projects must meet Federal and State Program Objectives. Projects may fall under one of four categories. The Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program is intended to support new initiatives, programs, projects or activities not currently being funded through other sources.

Technical Assistance:

Up to 10% of the total grant request may be budgeted for planning and design (e.g. consultation with Landscape Architect, designer, etc.). For tree planting projects an additional 10% may be budgeted for a qualified arborist to provide tree planting and maintenance training and offer onsite support. A larger technical assistance budget may be considered, particularly for Category I projects with justification and are subject to approval.

Priorities of Focus identified in the Forest Action Plan:
-Climate Change
-Education & Outreach
-Emergency Management
-Health & Well Being -Invasive Species
-Ordinances & Legislation
-Urban Tree Care -Water Quality/Green Infrastructure
-Wildland Urban Interference

Category I: Urban and Community Forestry Technology Tools

Detailed documents or set of tools to improve the management of Hawaii's urban and community trees and forests.

Examples of Category I projects include, but are not limited to:
-Tree inventory
-Mapping of urban & community forests
-Tropical Urban Forestry BMPs
-Tools for legislative processes
-Invasive species management tools
-Emergency management planning
-Urban tree canopy assessments -Green infrastructure planning -Climate change analyses
-Water quality analyses
-GIS projects

For Category I projects, a technical assistance budget above 10% will be considered with justification.

Category II: Tropical Urban Forestry Professional Training

Educational opportunities for the urban forestry tree care industry including county, private or state entity, and non-profits, and those retained through written agreement to advise and/or assist in the development or management of their urban or community forestry program.

Topics for trainings, workshops and seminars can include, but are not limited to:
-Increase the knowledge and expertise of the tree care industry through workshops and seminars.
-Improve coordination among partners to support the inclusion of trees in green infrastructure.
-Develop standards to increase and enforce urban forestry best management practices.
-Develop a tropical urban forestry management plan. Identify plans,
-Develop BMPs for tropical urban forestry.
-Improve Emergency Management coordination with urban forestry professionals.
-Urban forestry strategies for mitigation Climate Change.

Category III: Education and Public Outreach:

Projects that: create public awareness of the value and benefits of trees, mitigate the impacts of invasive species from the urban forest on native ecosystems, illustrate proper tree care, and promote Arbor Day.

Examples of Category III projects include, but are not limited to:
-Workshops, conferences, seminars
-Educational festivals/events
-Volunteer or in-house training
-Urban forestry youth programs
-Student Programs (K-12 to college level programs)
-Arbor Day Events – celebrated on the first Friday/Saturday in November
-Neighborhood Outreach
-Marketing efforts

Arbor Day Grants:

Priority will be given to Arbor Day Tree Giveaway projects that create public awareness of the value and benefits of trees, proper planting techniques and proper tree care and maintenance.

Funds requested must meet the following criteria:
1. The plant list must be at least 80% trees and native species where possible. Native trees can be either endemic or indigenous to Hawai‘i. Funding should be for plant and educational materials only. No vines or ground cover will be funded. The definition of a tree is described as a plant having a permanently woody main stem or trunk, ordinarily growing to a considerable height, and usually developing branches at some distance from the ground with a mature diameter.
2. The list of trees must be non-invasive per Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment. Use the Plant Pono website to check. Native and Polynesian Introduced (“canoe”) plants are pre-approved.
3. The proposal should include appropriate educational literature that describes the plant given away, the value and benefits of trees, proper tree planting and maintenance for tree care.
4. Demonstrations and/or presentations at the giveaway are encouraged and may be eligible for funding.
5. In addition to submitting a Kaulunani grant proposal, applicants are strongly encouraged to find other partners to help fund the project.

Category IV: Demonstration Tree Planting Projects:

Trees have many benefits, and a clearly defined “demonstration” project will focus on one or more of those benefits to the community.

Examples of Category IV projects include, but are not limited to:
-How trees reduce energy use
-How trees are green infrastructure
-How trees demonstrate cultural benefits
-Demonstrate how trees can improve the water quality by planting along urban streams.
-Demonstrate how trees can be used as a tool to mitigate the effects of stormwater runoff, heat islands, sea level rise, climate change, and how trees can protect coastal areas from storms.

Please verify that the trees and plants proposed for the project are not invasive or have been evaluated for suitability in Hawai’i . Native and Polynesian introduced “canoe” plants are acceptable.

These projects may require county or state permits, check with local or state officials before submitting your proposal.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176563

Estimated Size of Grant:

Requests for assistance should be more than $500.

Funding Range:
`ILIMA: $500 - $2,499
-MĀMAKI: $2,500 - $14,999; Arbor Day Max $10,000
-`ULU: $15,000 - $300,000
-Cool Your School: $500 - $14,999

Term of Contract:

Recipients will be given up to one year to complete the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Kaulunani has awarded grants to nonprofit groups, schools, community organizations, parks, museums and arboretums.

Non-Federal organizations operating within Hawai‘i may apply for a Kaulunani Urban Forestry Grant.

Ineligible projects include, but are not limited to, greenspace property acquisition and related costs, tree removal and maintenance, and projects that will take place on inaccessible private property.

Ineligible Requests include, but are not limited to: computers, printers, typewriters, cameras, phones, fax machines, structures, or other equipment, food and refreshments. Salaries and wages (administrative funds, overhead, salaries or wages) are typically not supported but can be used as match. However, contractual services are permitted projects that plan on including additional contractual services beyond the stated allowance for technical assistance.

Pre-Application Information:

Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program funds must be matched equally (dollar for dollar) with non-federal funds.

Pre-Application requirements vary according to funding level:
-`ILIMA: Pre-Proposal
-MĀMAKI: Staff Consultation/ Proposal
-`ULU: Staff Consultation/ Pre Proposal Responding to a Specific Opportunity
-Cool Your School: Cool Your School Pre-Proposal

The Kaulunani Advisory Council reviews proposals at its February, May, August and November meetings. The submission date of your proposal determines the likely date of its review by the Council.

-December 15 for review at the February meeting
-March 15 (Arbor Day grants due) for review at the May meeting
-June 15 for review at the August meeting
-September 15 for review at the November meeting

If the proposal due dates fall on a weekend or holiday the next business date will be accepted.

It is recommended applicants apply by the March 15 Deadline in order to be considered for Arbor Day Grants.

Approval generally takes two months.

All payments are considered reimbursements based on funds expended.

NOTE: All Budget forms for tree planting/giveaway projects must include Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) scores. These can be found through the Plant Pono website. Plants that have not yet been evaluated can be submitted for evaluation directly through the site:

ABCs of Grant Writing:

Characteristics of a Successful Proposal:

Steps for Successful Tree Planting Projects:

Contact Information:

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

Jolie Wanger, Program Coordinator
(808) 395-7765 / (808) 721-7604

Shannon Rivera, Community Partnership Coordinator
(619) 997-8506

Division of Forestry and Wildlife
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Hawaii