Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program

Federal support to the RI 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 RIDEM Division of Forest Environment and USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region.

The Urban and Community Forestry 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 2020 Rhode Island Forest Action Plan the following goals were established as the focus of the RI Urban and Community Forestry Program. Grant projects should be developed address at least one of these goals.

  • Promote active and sustainable management to conserve trees and forests where people live, work and play.
  • Protect trees and forests from threats through planning and response (invasive, catastrophic, climate, etc.).
  • Enhance the public benefits from trees and forests through improved management practices.
  • 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.

Grant requests can range from $2,000 to $10,000, with a match requirement of 50% of the amount awarded.

  • Grant funds are awarded to the state on an annual basis through the USDA Forest Service and are administered by the RIDEM Division of Forest Resources Urban and Community Forestry Program.
  • The match 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.
  • First-time municipal applicants, and municipalities seeking Tree City USA status, are given priority for funding.
  • Funding for the project is on a reimbursement basis only.

 Annual grant timeline:

  • The grant cycle opens January 1 of each year.
  • Grant workshops are offered in January. Attendance is strongly advised prior to making a grant application.
  • Grant applications/proposals are due by March 31 at 3:00pm.
  • Grant awards are reviewed and the recipients notified about the success of their application by early to mid-July.
  • Grant projects begin September 1 and must be completed by August 31 the following year (12 months).

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
  • Training and education: To enhance the technical skills of those people involved in the planning, development and maintenance of urban and community forests or to provide educational programs and technical assistance to communities, individuals and organizations

Project Examples:

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

Meeting the match requirements:

  • Grant costs, as itemized in the project budget, are paid on a reimbursement basis only.
  • Grant funds can be matched with other funding sources (such as state or non-profits), but not by other federal funds.
  • Documentation of all matching support must be maintained and submitted with reimbursement.
  • A match can be in the form of cash purchase or in-kind contributions, all from non-federal sources.
  • A match cannot be met by cash purchase or in-kind contribution for entertainment, food and beverages, computers, tree maintenance, or construction and landscape supplies/equipment.

Yearly Grant Application Cycle

Accepted from January 1 to March 31

By the close of business 3:00 PM

Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Access instructions, RFP and Forms

Grantee Resources

Current grantees may use the appropriate form to request a reimbursement, complete required reports, or review contractual requirements. The forms necessary for successfully completing a Urban and Community Forestry Program grant are listed in your award notification and are provided below. Please download and save to your computer before completing the forms.

Match documentation that may be necessary to submit with a reimbursement request: