NC Urban & Community Forestry Grant Program

North Carolina Forest Service

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

Anticipated deadline: Mar 31, 2019 2:00pm PDT

Applicant type: College / University Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: North Carolina

Location of residency: North Carolina

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?



Urban and community forestry is broadly defined as the comprehensive management of trees, forests, and related natural resources in populated areas for the physiological, sociological, economic, and aesthetic benefits trees provide society

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.

Program Goal

Enhance the benefits and sustainable management of urban forests.

Program Objectives

  • 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.

Available Funds

Requests for assistance should range between $2,500 and $15,000. Funding is for programs, projects or activities not currently being funded and cannot be used to substitute for existing funds. Funds may be used within existing programs to initiate new program development or program expansion.

Project Examples

Projects will benefit from having clearly stated goals, well-thought-out budgets, and wellplanned scheduling that utilizes volunteers, creates local partnerships, promotes development of local community forestry programs, has a long-term focus and benefits, and/or has an educational or technology transfer component. The program is designed to support new and innovative initiatives or expand existing programs that would not occur without grant funds. It is not intended to substitute for current funding levels.

Proposals may fit into one or more of the following categories. Some project examples, which support the program’s objectives, are offered as a guide below. A more complete listing of examples and details can be found on the Urban and Community Forestry Website.

See full details of project categories here

Category 1: Urban & Community Forestry Program Development

This category is specific for communities who do not currently have a community forestry program in place. Grant funding may assist with:

  • Creation and training of a Tree Board or Shade Tree Commission
  • Development of a Tree Ordinance or Tree Conservation/Preservation Ordinance
  • Conducting a Hazard Tree Evaluation
  • Holding a Public Meeting on the Benefits of Trees

Category 2: Urban & Community Forestry Program Improvement

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. Grant funding may assist with:

  • Conducting a Tree Inventory and Analysis 
  • Conducting a Resource Assessment
  • Development of Management Plans or Street Tree Master Plans
  • Revising an Existing Tree Ordinance/Policy
  • Professional Certification

Category 3: Non-Profit Program Development

Organizations must qualify as non-profits under state and federal guidelines. If your organization has not participated in this program in the past please provide information about your organization’s mission, structure and past activities in regard to urban and community forestry. Grant funding may assist with:

  • Publications and Communication
  • Volunteer Training and Coordination
  • Staffing and Administration

Category 4: Tree Planting Projects

The proposal must demonstrate how the project will facilitate strategic planting and maintenance of community trees for public benefits.

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


  • Program Eligibility
    • Grant funds may be awarded to any unit of local or state government, public educational institutions, IRS approved non-profit 501(c)(3) and other tax-exempt organizations.
    • Organizations which have received >$750,000 in Federal funding in the prior fiscal year are required to provide a copy of, or link to, that year’s audit as posted to the Federal Audit Clearing House.
  • The Urban & Community Forestry 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.
  • Ineligible Expenses for Grant Reimbursement
    • 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.)
    • Shrubs, flowers or groundcovers, although they may qualify as match, if approved
    • Costs associated with regular and persistent tree maintenance
    • Purchase of construction and landscape supplies/equipment
    • Purchase of computers