The Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz challenged DNR’s Urban Forestry Program and the Washington Community Forestry Council (WCFC) to dedicate some energy and resources to issues of equity in urban forestry. In turn, the DNR Urban Forestry Program and the WCFC have wholeheartedly embraced this challenge.

DNR’s Urban Forestry staff have been working with a subcommittee of the WCFC to revise our community forestry assistance grants for 2019 to include a focus on equity. The process has been a thoughtful one, and we are now excited to announce the brand new “Community Forestry Assistance and Environmental Justice” Grants!

The Request For Proposal (RFP) and associated forms for the grant can be downloaded from Washington’s Electronic Business Solutions website. Applicants will need to register for the site if they have not done so already. Once registered, the System Assigned Identifier for the RFP is 40349.

All of the details can be found within the RFP, although here is a summary of important points:

  • The maximum grant request is $30,000; the minimum request is $10,000. A 50% match is required; overmatch is encouraged
  • Local Governments, Tribal Governments, Educational Institutions, and 501(c)3 Non-profit Organizations are eligible to apply
  • Acceptable projects shall address an environmental justice issue through development or implementation of urban forestry tools, programs, or activities
  • Applicants are highly encouraged, but not required to use the recently-released Washington Environmental Disparities Map to explore the type and extent of environmental justice issues in their own communities. More information about the map can be found in this Seattle Times article.
  • At least one public entity (cities, towns, counties, tribal governments, educational institutions, special taxing districts, etc) and at least one community-based organization (non-profits, volunteer groups, churches, HOA’s, neighborhood associations, etc.) must collaborate on submitted projects; Letters of support are required to substantiate the collaborative relationship(s)
  • Grant activities associated with tree planting, restoration, or management plans, etc. will be on public property. Applicants must have permission to conduct proposed grant activities on public land.
  • Proposed activities should be consistent with local goals and objectives, and with the DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program mission.
  • Applicants are required to submit letters of support that clearly and strongly demonstrate the scope of cooperative relationships between public entities and community-based organizations.
  • A letter of interest must be submitted using the fillable form provided. Letters of interest are due by Thursday, February 21 at 4:00 PM

The following diagram illustrates key elements required by these grants that contribute to eligible projects. Competitive projects will be those that thoroughly, effectively, and cohesively weave these key elements together:

For more information, visit our webpage (scroll down to find the section titled “Grants and Financial Assistance”)

Please feel free to contact the DNR Urban Forestry Program Staff at any time if you have questions about this grant opportunity.