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Roots for Rivers Reforestation Grant and Technical Assistance Program

Grants to New Jersey Nonprofits, Agencies, Conservation Organizations,
and School Districts for Projects to Plant Trees on Deforested Floodplains

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Sustainable Jersey, and The Watershed Institute

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/14/18 11:59 PM


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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 to New Jersey municipalities, school districts, nonprofits, agencies, and conservation organizations for programs to plant trees on vulnerable New Jersey floodplains. Funding is intended to increase vegetation in deforested areas with the aim to prevent and reverse erosion, help keep waterways clean, and to improve fish and wildlife habitats.

Dense development in New Jersey directly affects the water supply, and more than 85% of the rivers and streams are impaired due to factors like erosion and polluted stormwater runoff. One way to ensure New Jersey can continue relying upon its natural water resources is to restore New Jersey’s floodplains—the critical land near riverbanks. Throughout much of the state, floodplains have been deforested and left without trees to help filter water, absorb flooding, or cool the river for fish. TNC has been working over the last five years with local, state, and federal partners in northwestern New Jersey to reforest the floodplains of a key tributary to the Delaware River, the Paulins Kill.

The first step in crafting a project is to identify potential planting sites and determine who owns the land.

Potential Sites

Identify rivers or streams running through the municipality and look for areas at the site along the banks with the following features:
- No woody vegetation or sparse woody vegetation
- Mowed lawns or impermeable pavement
- Invasive or non-native grasses and plants (reed canary grass, loosestrife, etc.)
- Signs of erosion
- Close proximity to paved roads

Please note that the goal of this program is to increase tree cover in floodplains. Cutting down, removing, mowing or otherwise disturbing healthy native vegetation including, but not limited to, trees and shrubs planted or naturally growing in the project area is not consistent with this goal and is prohibited.

Land Ownership

Eligible project sites include:
- Municipal or school district owned land
- Other public land (preserved land, open space, etc.) owned by the county or state, provided the application includes a letter from the property owner supporting the project and granting permission to implement the project.
- Non-profit organization owned land, provided that the application includes a letter from the property owner supporting the project and granting permission to implement the project.

Eligible expenses only include:
- Woody plants materials (trees and shrubs) that only include bare root stock, tublings, 1-gallon and/or 2-gallon containers
- Tubes and support stakes to protect the plantings (Deer fences and protection against weeds/invasive species are not covered by this grant).
- Up to two delivery fees associated with transportation of project materials

Invasive, non-native species removal is not required, but encouraged if necessary for project success, and the costs associated with this process will also be the financial responsibility of the applicant.

Applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to use select partner vendors.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184640

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants can request funding amounts from between $1,000 and $20,000.

Term of Contract:

Proposed projects must be completed by July 1, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible to participate in this program through Sustainable Jersey, an applicant must:
- Be a New Jersey municipal government or school district. Funding may be passed through to a nonprofit, partner organization, or contractor, but the municipality or school district must be the applicant and will be responsible for the reporting requirements. Checks will be made payable to the municipality or school district and sent to its fiscal agent.
- Be registered or certified with Sustainable Jersey or Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program.

Eligibility requirements to participate in this program through The Watershed Institute include:
- Applicant must be a New Jersey county or state government agency; a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization; or a conservation group
- Project work must be conducted in New Jersey
- Submissions by private individuals, as well as project sites on private land, are not eligible for funds

Submissions by private individuals, as well as project sites on private land, are not eligible for funds.

Other supplies (gloves, shovels, fencing, weed mats, etc.), equipment (mower, auger, etc.) and/or labor (or contractor) costs associated with project implementation are ineligible expenses and will be the financial responsibility of the applicant.

Pre-proposal Conference:

An informational webinar will be held Wednesday, October 31, from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

You will learn:
- Why floodplain reforestation is important and what is involved
- How to select an appropriate site and develop a project plan
- What technical assistance and funding is available
- How to apply to be part of the program

Following the webinar, the recorded webinar and power point presentation will be posted on Sustainable Jersey’s Webinar Recordings and Presentations page:

Register for the webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Program Dates:
- Informational Webinar: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
- Application Deadline: December 14, 2018 at 11:59 PM
- Recipient Announcement: January 29, 2019
- Project Completion: July 1, 2019
- Final Reports Due: August 1, 2019

Information on invasive, non-native species and links to New Jersey-specific resources:

New Jersey Maps Conservation Blueprint Mapping Tool:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online (Municipalities and School Districts):

Apply Online (Nonprofit Organizations, Conservation Groups, and Government Agencies):

For more information regarding Sustainable Jersey's application process, please contact:
Kaitlyn Vollmer, Sustainable Jersey Grants Coordinator
(609) 771-3189

For more information regarding The Watershed Institute's application process, please contact:
Kimber Ray
(609) 737-3735

For project related questions, please contact:
Michelle DiBlasio
(908) 955-0342

Sustainable Jersey
Sustainability Institute at the College of New Jersey
Forcina Hall, 3rd Floor
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey