RI America the Beautiful (ATB) Grant Program

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM)

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Predicted deadline: Apr 30, 2021 1:00pm PDT

Grant amount: US $2,000 - US $4,000

Fields of work: Forestry

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Rhode Island

Location of residency: Rhode Island

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The primary goal of America the Beautiful - Tree Rhode Island is to provide funds to assist in the establishment or extension of comprehensive community forestry programs.  The ATB Grants are made possible through the USDA Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program.

These projects must be reflective of the needs of the community and should demonstrate the community’s commitment to urban forestry. It is our intention through the attached materials to direct focus regarding the types of projects that are most appropriate for funding through the ATB program.

Funding Categories

Historically, ATB Grants have been awarded on a wide range of urban forestry projects. These projects must be reflective of the needs of the community and should demonstrate the community’s commitment to urban forestry. It is our intention through the attached materials to direct focus regarding the types of projects that are most appropriate for funding through the ATB program. 

The DFE has defined 3 focused categories of ATB grants for this grant application period. When submitting an application, an applicant is required to identify one of these three categories as reflective of the proposal. 

The three categories are:

Municipal Urban Tree Planting

This category is provided to facilitate strategic planting and maintenance of community trees for public benefits. Projects must show robust engagement with residents, community involvement, and public support. Priority will be given to projects with a community education and outreach component. 

Municipal Urban Forestry Planning

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. This category is meant to advance urban forestry practices at the local level, engaging residents and staff in understanding the benefits of urban forestry and managing proactively.

Education and Outreach

Projects submitted under the Education and Outreach category should be a vehicle for community members to learn about and practice environmental stewardship. The education component should be locally-based and designed to give participants the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions and responsible actions about trees and urban forests. 

Projects should be centered on tree planting, tree care, and/or urban forest management. Educational curriculum may be implemented prior to a community tree planting or tree care project, or concurrent with it, depending on the applicant’s most effective way to reach a particular audience. 

Matching Contributions

The Urban & Community Forestry Grant Program funds must be matched 60/40 with non-federal funds – e.g. a $2,000 grant would have a $3,000 minimum match requirement (1.5x the award amount), for an overall project cost of $5,000. Match may be in the form of cash purchase or in-kind contributions, and all such contributions must come from non-federal sources. Matching funds for this project may not be used as a match for any other federal cost-share project. All matching funds must be specifically related to the proposed project. Documentation of all matching support must be maintained and submitted with reimbursement.

Matching Funds Requirements and Guidelines:

  • A matching grant is a conditional award, requiring the grantee to contribute a specified minimum percentage of the project’s total cost – this is referred to as “minimum match.”
  • Minimum match – 60% of the total project required of grantee.
  • Applicants may match grant funds with cash, in-kind contributions (volunteer labor, municipality/organization personnel and equipment), donations, and administrative costs directly related to the project.
  • Volunteer labor may be estimated at $25.43 per hour per person (per Independent Sector as of 2018).
  • All project expenses and matching fund/in-kind contributions must be fully and appropriately documented. Instructions will be provided to successful candidates.

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


  • Who may apply?
    • State government agencies,
    • Municipalities,
    • Non-profit organizations.


  • Tree planting projects that are presented without regard to creating or developing a sustainable community forestry program will not be considered for an award.
  • Funding is not available for the following:
    • Expenses incurred before or after the contract period (i.e. receipt of the DFE Purchase Order and the contract end date) 
    • Any expense not part of the DFE approved budget
    • Food, drinks and refreshments for meetings, volunteers, etc. (also 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, cancelled checks, invoices, etc.)

This page was last reviewed August 25, 2020 and last updated August 25, 2020