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Open Space Authority Urban Grant

Grants to California Nonprofits, Schools, and
Agencies to Promote Parks and Open Spaces

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority and Measure Q

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/01/20 11:59 PM Receipt


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Grants to California nonprofit organizations, schools and school districts, and government agencies to promote park areas and open spaces in eligible locations. Funding is intended to support activities in the focus areas of environmental stewardship; trails, parks, and public access; environmental education; and urban agriculture and food systems. Eligible projects are located in the Cities of Campbell, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Santa Clara and unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. Projects must take place within the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority’s boundaries. Funds are available for large and small grants.

The purpose of this Grant Program is to create healthy and safe open space and park areas in cities and unincorporated urban areas within the Authority’s boundaries by:

  • Creating or improving parks
  • Preserving open space and maintaining or creating trails
  • Enhancing and restoring habitat, natural resources and water resources
  • Enhancing access to healthy food through urban farms and gardens
  • Developing environmental education programs or facilities.

The Grant Program is also intended to promote investments in underserved, disadvantaged, and park-poor neighborhoods and to more equitably distribute the benefits of nature throughout the diverse communities and neighborhoods within the Authority’s jurisdiction. The Authority has identified several priority “Deep Engagement Communities,” which are areas with the greatest barriers to access of open space (due to, for example, language barriers and lack of personal vehicles) and the greatest environmental burdens (such as air pollution levels). Projects that address open space needs of Deep Engagement Communities or sensitive populations will be awarded bonus points. 

Grant Project Categories:

  • Environmental stewardship and restoration
  • Parks, trails, and public access
  • Environmental education
  • Urban agriculture/food systems

For information about the project categories, see:

Funds can be requests for capital improvements, planning, and programs. Capital improvement and planning projects must be located in an urban area or within one mile of an urban area. Programs must serve residents of urban areas. For additional information about the grant project types, see:

Highly desired project elements:

  • Projects that enhance wildlife habitat and provide other environmental benefits. This includes appropriate plant selection, with a strong preference for native species wherever possible.
  • Projects that provide recreational opportunities.
  • Projects with multiple benefits (i.e. provides benefits in more than one area: wildlife, habitat, water quality, recreation, education, social justice, etc.).
  • Projects featuring sustainable materials and practices.
  • Projects benefiting underserved communities.
  • Projects implemented through partnerships with other agencies and groups.
  • Projects with strong public support.
  • Projects with emphasis on community building.
  • Projects in more than one category (e.g. Environmental Education and Urban Agriculture).
  • Projects that provide opportunities for free public access to the project site and/or project materials (e.g. curriculum).

For information about eligible costs, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182466

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Anticipated grants awarded: 7-10 small grants; 5-7 large grants

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Small grants: $10,000 - $39,999
- Large grants: $40,000 - $250,000

Term of Contract:

- Small grants: 1 year to complete project
- Large grants: 3 years to complete project

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
- Local public agencies located within the Authority’s boundaries.
- Schools and school districts located within the Authority’s boundaries.
- Nonprofit organizations whose project is located within the Authority’s boundaries

If your organization does not have a tax-exempt ruling from the IRS, you can apply for a grant through a qualified fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that agrees to accept and be responsible for grant funds on behalf of another organization. If a fiscal sponsor is used, the fiscal sponsor is considered the legal applicant and therefore is responsible for all legal aspects of the grant.

Ineligible Elements:
-Projects may NOT include long term maintenance or any practices that are required as mitigation of any kind.
-Projects by public agencies CANNOT be related to ongoing maintenance or repair of City or County parkland, open space, or facilities.
-Projects by public agencies CANNOT be projects for which public funds have previously been allocated.
-Developed facilities (structures, parking lots, etc.) may be included but will be evaluated to ensure that the developed footprint is balanced with the overall benefits.
-Land acquisition.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Tuesday, Jun 02, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Online workshop only

Please register and you will receive the link and access code soon.
Register at:

Pre-Application Information:

All applications for funding must be received by 11:59 PM on May 1, 2020.

A minimum match of 25% of the grant request is required. This can be through a cash match and/or an in-kind match.

Estimated Grant Timeline:
- June 2: Online Workshop
- July 1, 2020: Grant applications due by 11:59 PM
- September 24, 2020: Board Review and Decision - Small Grants
- October 26, 2020: Citizens Advisory Committee Review (Large Grants)
- December 10, 2020: Board review and decision (Large Grants)

Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Board District Map

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Megan Dreger, Grants Administrator
(408) 224-7476

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: Cities of Campbell, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Santa Clara and unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. Projects must take place within the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority’s boundaries.

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