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America the Beautiful (ATB) Grant Program

Grants to Rhode Island Nonprofits, Agencies,
and Municipalities for Urban Forestry Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) - Division of Forest Environment (DFE)

Deadline Date:

01/31/19 3:00 PM Receipt


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Grants ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 to Rhode Island nonprofit organizations, state agencies, and municipalities for urban forestry projects. Funding categories are outreach and education, urban forestry planning, and urban tree planting. Funding is intended to enhance or expand existing programs or to initiate new program development.

Historically, ATB Grants have been awarded on a wide range of urban forestry projects. These projects must be reflective of the needs of the community and should demonstrate the community’s commitment to urban forestry. It is this program’s intention to direct focus regarding the types of projects that are most appropriate for funding through the ATB program.

The DFE has defined 3 focused categories of ATB grants for this grant application period. When submitting an application, an applicant is required to identify one of these three categories as reflective of the proposal.

Municipal Urban Forestry Planning:

This category is provided to encourage improved management of a community’s forest. Priority will be given to projects that enhance a local government’s ability to maintain a comprehensive urban management program. This category is meant to advance urban forestry practices at the local level, engaging residents and staff in understanding the benefits of urban forestry and managing proactively.

Grant funding may assist with:
- Conducting a tree inventory and analysis
- Conducting an urban tree canopy (UTC) assessment
- Conducting an i-Tree Eco study (or similar type of analysis)
- Creating an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) management plan, survey, and/or detection program
- Promoting the use of trees as green infrastructure, such as in reducing storm water runoff, air pollution reduction or the mitigation of the urban island effect
- Developing a comprehensive municipal forest plan, or other similar project

The aim of a comprehensive forest management plan is to influence future decision making to improve the community’s forest resources. The plan should integrate the economic, environmental, political and social realities and values of the community.

A Comprehensive Tree Management Plan should include the following components:
1. Program Development Plan
2. Tree Inventory and Assessment Plan
3. Tree Planting Plan
4. Tree Maintenance Plan
5. Tree Risk Management & Removal Plan
6. Storm and Emergency Response Plan
7. Tree Preservation Plan
8. Public Education and Outreach Plan

Projects can be supported by the purchase of inventory software, GIS/computer hardware, and/or contracting of urban forestry planning professionals.

Non-profit organizations may apply through this category, but they must demonstrate that they have the cooperation of the municipality involved and that the project will directly benefit the municipality’s tree management program.

Municipal Urban Tree Planting:

This category is provided to facilitate strategic planting and maintenance of community trees for public benefits. Projects must show robust engagement with residents, community involvement, and public support. Priority will be given to projects with a community education and outreach component. The following is required when any tree planting funds are requested:

Tree Planting Project Guidelines:
- Plantings must conform to appropriate planting instructions and specifications.
- No invasive species will be permitted. Recommended planting list available by request.
- New tree plantings must be a minimum of 2” caliper, maximum 4” caliper. Funding for trees under 2” or over 4” by special exception only.
- Bare-root trees may be 1+” caliper.
- Planting stock should be purchased from firms in hardiness zones 5, 6, 7, and from State of Rhode Island certified nurseries, if available.
- There must be a three-year maintenance plan specifying maintenance activities and responsibilities submitted with the final documentation. Indicate who will be responsible for supervising and implementing the maintenance plan and their qualifications. Standard care and maintenance includes supplemental watering for at least two years, replenishing mulch, seasonal inspecting of all trees, early corrective pruning if needed, insect and disease control as needed, and removal of any guys, stakes, wraps and supports no later than one year after planting. - There must be a two-year watering plan submitted with the final documentation.
- Monoculture plantings should be avoided.
- For any planting, information on tree species, size, and planting locations (street address and maps, if applicable) must be approved by the U&CF Coordinator before work is completed. Priority will be given to projects that include planting information at time of proposal
- Trees that reach a mature height of thirty-five feet or greater planted directly under utility lines will not be funded.

Education and Outreach:

Projects submitted under the Education and Outreach category should be a vehicle for community members to learn about and practice environmental stewardship. The education component should be locally-based and designed to give participants the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions and responsible actions about trees and urban forests.

Projects should be centered on tree planting, tree care, and/or urban forest management. Educational curriculum may be implemented prior to a community tree planting or tree care project, or concurrent with it, depending on the applicant’s most effective way to reach a particular audience.

Grant funding may support:
- Public Education/Workshops – Funds may be used to conduct local seminars, training sessions and workshops regarding arboriculture and/or community forestry topics. Funds may cover brochure development, mailings, speaker fees, audio/visual equipment rental and related costs.
- Youth Programs – Funds may be used for educational and awareness efforts targeted to youth audiences, youth-at-risk, or underserved groups and designed to enhance an understanding of community trees and forests.
- In-House Training and Continuing Education – Intended to enhance the technical skills of individuals involved in planning, development and maintenance of community forests. Proposals may include costs associated with attending an educational event (registration, travel, and lodging expenses) and/or the purchase of reference materials for self-study.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177717

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Requests for assistance should range between $2,000 and $4,000.

Term of Contract:

Grant recipients will be given 18 months to complete their project.

Contract Period is scheduled to begin May 1, 2019. Approved projects must be completed and all paperwork submitted no later than September 1, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
- State government agencies.
- Municipalities.
- Non-profit organizations.

Funding is not available for the following:
- Expenses incurred before or after the contract period
- Any expense not part of an approved budget
- Food, drinks and refreshments for meetings, volunteers, etc. (cannot count as match)
- Costs associated with preparing the grant application
- Salaries of current staff, although they may qualify as match, if appropriate
- General overhead and administration charges, although they may qualify as match
- Expenses not supported by proper documentation (such as paid receipts, invoices, etc.)

Pre-Application Information:

- January 31, 2019 – Application Deadline. Proposals must be received at the Division of Forest Environment, RIDEM headquarters in Providence by 3:00 PM.
- February 28, 2019 – Notification Date. All applicants will be formally notified of the outcome of their grant application. Following notification, contracts will be developed and sent to those organizations selected for funding. Contracts are to be signed and returned within 20 business days.
- May 1, 2019 – Begin Project. Contract Period scheduled to begin.
- February 1, 2020 – Mid-Year Status Report due. Report covers grant activities from beginning of contract up to January 31, 2019.
- September 30, 2020 – End Project. Contract Period ends. No further work can be carried out for the grant, unless a time extension has been previously approved. Submissions of the Final Accomplishment Report and the Final Request for Reimbursement are due within 30 days of the Contract end date, or approved time extension deadline.

The Urban & Community Forestry Grant Program funds must be matched 60/40 with non-federal funds – e.g. a $2,000 grant would have a $3,000 minimum match requirement, for an overall project cost of $5,000. Match may be in the form of cash purchase or in-kind contributions, and all such contributions must come from non-federal sources. Matching funds for this project may not be used as a match for any other federal cost-share project. All matching funds must be specifically related to the proposed project. Documentation of all matching support must be maintained and submitted with reimbursement.

Contact Information:

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

Caroline Scanlan
Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator
RI DEM Division of Forest Environment
Phone: 401-222-2445 x2056

Mail or hand-deliver applications to:
Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program
RI DEM, Division of Forest Environment
235 Promenade Street, Suite 394
Providence, RI 02908

P: (401) 222-2445
F: (401) 222-2444

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Rhode Island