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Urban Environmental Education Center

Grants to New York Nonprofits to Construct
Environmental Education Facilities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) - Office of Environmental Justice

Deadline Date:

02/02/18 3:00 PM ET


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Grants to New York nonprofit grassroots and community-based organizations for the construction of environmental education facilities in designated urban areas. Applicants are advised that the required prequalification process may take up to five days. The goal of this program is to address climate change, support the clean energy economy, and protect the environment and public health.

Through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, New York is working with grassroots and community based organizations to expand actions to combat climate change, grow the clean energy economy and protect public health and the environment. Education plays a central role in the success of the Governor’s national leading efforts by informing and inspiring community actions to promote healthy living and improve environmental quality. The Governor has increased investments in creative education programs and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is requesting proposals for the development of environmental education centers to provide new opportunities in the State’s urban environments to learn about and advance needed environmental improvements.

DEC’s mission is to conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the State and their overall economic and social well-being. DEC’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) addresses environmental justice concerns in the environmental permit review process and across other DEC operations. OEJ runs several programs that benefit environmental justice communities and address disproportionate adverse environmental impacts that may exist in those communities.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is pleased to announce funding for projects that will promote healthy living and environmental education in New York’s urban environments, this RFA seeks applications for construction of a new facility or renovation of an existing facility to launch new environmental education centers. The main objectives of these centers are to promote environmental stewardship and to develop informed, knowledgeable, and responsible residents as described in the examples below.

Funding from the State’s EPF is available to support capital costs of new construction proposals or renovation proposals. Depending on the quality of proposals received, DEC reserves the right to fund projects for more or less than the advertised amount or to fund a discreet portion of the proposal. Proposals may include but are not limited to the following capital costs:

-Purchasing of building or land
-Construction or renovation costs
-Expansion or updating of a facility
-Purchasing of furniture, fixtures, and equipment
-Purchasing technology hardware

This RFA will support new construction or renovation of a facility to create an Urban Environmental Education Center (Center). The Center should inspire exploration, discovery, and learning about the urban environment.

Possible uses or programming of the Center include but are not limited to:
-Education about indoor air pollution and modeling methods to reduce exposure to indoor air pollution.
-Education about environmental justice challenges.
-Green jobs training and education.
-Programs, information, and exhibits that increase awareness and stewardship of the local environment.
-Models of sustainable development including LEED Green Building Certification, green infrastructure, and urban agriculture.
-Research and monitoring programs focusing on urban watershed issues, combined sewer overflow, vehicle emissions, energy generation, solid waste transfer activities and/or other urban environment issues.
-Community space for local community based organizations, community events, and workshops.
-K-12 educational programming in ecology, urban environmental issues, green technology, and urban environmental sustainability.
-College level electives in ecology, green energy technology, and urban environmental sustainability.
-Outdoor components such as community gardens or urban farms.

Additional points will be given to applications partnering with academic institutions.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182492

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Minimum grant amount is $250,000; Maximum grant amount is $1,000,000.

Term of Contract:

All projects must have defined objectives, tasks, and deliverables accounted for in performance measures that can be completed and invoiced within a 24-month contract period/term.

The activity for the request must fall within the July 20, 2018 to July 19, 2020-time period. Project expenditures prior to Master Contract for Grants (MCG) start date and after the MCG end date are not eligible for reimbursement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An eligible applicant must be a not-for-profit corporation (NFP) community-based organization, or a community-based organization may partner with a NFP that will serve as their fiscal sponsor.

For the purposes of this grant opportunity, a community based organization is an organization that:

-Serves the residents of an area equal to or smaller than a town or city outside of New York City, or an area equal to or smaller than one of the five boroughs within New York City; and
-Cannot have its charter revoked or otherwise be dissolved through the action of another organization; and
-Is able to enter into legal agreements independent of any affiliated nonprofit organization, government body, university or other entity that would be ineligible to apply for this grant; and
-Has more than 50 percent of its members residing in the affected community, or more than 50 percent of the people served by the applicant community group residing in the affected community.

For this grant opportunity, a NFP is subject to New York State’s Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, is qualified for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, has an IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter to be incorporated in New York State and is currenjust in their charities reporting requirements with the Office of the Attorney General.

Individuals and unincorporated groups may not apply, but an eligible nonprofit organization, known as a fiscal sponsor, may apply on behalf of an individual or unincorporated group.

Eligible Project Locations:

To be eligible for this RFA the projects, plans, and sites must be located within an urban area. An urban area means cities, villages, or towns with a population density of greater than one thousand persons per square mile and having a population of 50,000 or more individuals.

Additional points will be given to proposals located in environmental justice areas or located in under-served communities (all potential neighborhoods whose demographic, geographic, or economic characteristics impede or prevent their access to open space and environmental education)

Maps of EJ areas in New York State are available at:

To qualify for EJ points, your application must include one of the following details:
a.) To demonstrate location in an EJ area - The exact street location(s) where the project is to be implemented (no P.O. Box) or where the benefit will be provided; or
b.) To demonstrate location in an underserved neighborhood - A brief description of how the project will benefit underserved populations that experience disproportionate adverse environmental impacts such as pollution from multiple industrial facilities, sub-standard water quality, concentrated diesel emissions from bus depots, or other heavy vehicle traffic, adverse health effects related to environmental impacts (high asthma), lack of access to green benefits such as open space, environmental education or parks, or other such impacts.

New York Urban Areas:

Region 1 – Long Island:
-Babylon Town, Suffolk County
-Brookhaven Town, Suffolk County
-Hempstead Town, Nassau County
-Hempstead Village, Nassau County
-Huntington Town, Suffolk County
-Islip Town, Suffolk County
-North Hempstead Town, Nassau County
-Oyster Bay Town, Nassau County
-Smithtown Town, Suffolk County

Region 2 - New York City:
-Bronx Borough, Bronx County
-Brooklyn Borough, Kings County
-Manhattan Borough, New York County
-Queens Borough, Queens County
-Staten Island Borough, Richmond County

Region 3:
-Clarkstown Town, Rockland County
-Greenburgh Town, Westchester County
-Mount Vernon City, Westchester County
-Ramapo Town, Rockland County
-New Rochelle City, Westchester County
-White Plains City, Westchester County
-Yonkers City, Westchester County

Region 4:
-Albany City, Albany County
-Colonie Town, Albany County
-Schenectady City, Schenectady County
-Troy City, Rensselaer County

Region 6:
-Utica City, Oneida County

Region 7:
-Clay Town, Onondaga County
-Syracuse City, Onondaga County
-Union Town, Broome County

Region 8:
-Irondequoit Town, Monroe County
-Greece Town, Monroe County
-Rochester City, Monroe County

Region 9:
-Amherst Town, Erie County
-Buffalo City, Erie County
-Cheektowaga Town, Erie County
-Hamburg Town, Erie County
-Niagara Falls City, Niagara County
-Tonawanda Town, Erie County

Pre-Application Information:

All Applicants must be Registered with Grants Gateway to submit an application. In addition to registration, not-for-profits must also be Prequalified at the time and date that the application is due.

Please do not delay in beginning and completing the pre qualification process. The State reserved 5 days to review submitted pre qualification applications. Prequalification applications submitted to the State for review less than 5 days prior may not be considered.

Questions regarding this grant opportunity will be accepted by the Department until C.O.B. January 26, 2018. All questions, and answers, will be uploaded in the Grants Gateway application for all applicants to view.

Applications must be submitted through the NYS Grants Gateway by February 2, 2018, 3:00 PM ET.

Key Dates:
-Application Period Begins: November 13, 2017
-Application Period Begins Question & Answer Period Ends: January 26, 2018 (C.O.B.)
-Applications Due: February 2, 2018, 3:00 PM ET
-Award(s) Announced By: May 14, 2018

Contact Information:

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

For general information on completing this application and for clarification of application requirements, contractual terms and procedures, contact the Office of Environmental Justice:


For technical information, direct questions to the Grants Gateway help desk:

(518) 474-5595

Include “Urban Environmental Education Center” in the subject line of the email.

Funding or Pin Number:

Grant Opportunity ID DEC01-EJ-2017

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York: Eligible Urban Areas