NC Urban & Community Forestry Grant Program

North Carolina Forest Service

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Grant amount: US $2,500 - US $15,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 31, 2020 2:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: North Carolina

Location of residency: North Carolina

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Federal support to the NC Urban and Community Forestry Program is authorized by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-313) as amended. The program operates as a cooperative partnership between the NC Forest Service and USDA Forest Service, Southern Region.

What does the grant support?

The U&CF Grant Program funds projects which lead to a more effective and efficient management of urban and community forests, and improve public understanding of the benefits of preserving existing tree cover in communities.

As part of the 2010 North Carolina Forest Action Plan the following goal and objectives were established as the focus of the NC Urban and Community Forestry Program. Grant projects should be developed to follow one or more of these four objectives.

Goal: Enhance the benefits and sustainable management of urban forests.

As part of the North Carolina Forest Action Plan, the U&CF Grant Program considers the following objectives to be a priority focus and any grant projects should be developed with these objectives in mind:

  • Reduce the impacts of land-use change and urbanization on forested landscapes in and around urban areas.
  • Facilitate strategic planting and maintenance of community trees for public benefits.
  • Assist communities with establishing and managing their urban forests.
  • Encourage policies and guidelines that sustain urban and community forests for the public’s benefit.

How is the grant administered?

Grants are awarded on an annual basis through the USDA Forest Service and are administered by the NC Forest Service U&CF Program.

The grant provides 50% of the project costs, and requires matching funds or in-kind efforts, to encourage citizen involvement in creating and sustaining urban and community forestry programs.

What can the grant funds can be used for?

  • New programs: for programs, projects or activities not currently funded, not as a substitute for existing funds
  • Existing programs: to stimulate new program development or program expansion
  • To assist a community or organization to meet the requirements for Tree City USA and Tree City Growth Awards, Tree Campus USA or Tree Line USA
  • To promote volunteerism, multi-cultural awareness, and involvement of non-profit organizations by implementing urban and community forestry programs, especially in communities where participation in urban and community forestry efforts has been limited
  • To enhance the technical skills of those people involved in the planning, development and maintenance of urban and community forests
  • To provide educational programs and technical assistance to communities, individuals and organizations
  • To establish useful demonstration projects that show the benefits of forest cover and trees in an urban setting and solve a specific problem

Before making an application, remember:

The Urban & Community Forestry Grant is not about planting trees. In fact, grant applications for the sole purpose of tree planting or beautification are discouraged. Tree planting should happen within a larger project which is aimed at promoting and enhancing the tree population already present in the community.

Communities, interest groups, etc. may apply for grants yearly, although when funding is limited and project merits are solid, a first-time applicant may be selected before a repeat applicant. Repeat applicants should submit projects that are wholly new or that build upon previous grants projects and demonstrate a progression towards a self-sustaining urban forestry program. Grant funding is not meant to replace funding for current programs, such as planting, maintenance or staffing.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
    • Any unit of local or state government
    • Public educational institutions
    • IRS approved non-profit 501(c)(3) and other tax-exempt organizations
  • Partnerships between groups or other organizations are encouraged.
  • The U&CF Grant Program funds must be matched equally (dollar for dollar) with non-federal funds.


  • First-time municipal applicants and municipalities seeking Tree City USA status are given priority for funding.


  • Funding is not available for entertainment, food and beverages, computers, tree maintenance, or construction and landscape supplies/equipment.