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Grant Project Guidelines

There are two complementing goals of the NCFS U&CF Grant Program. The first is to increase the level of sustainable urban forest management in our communities. The second is to enhance the public's knowledge of urban and community forestry, conservation, and best management practices and the economic, human health and ecosystem services community forests provide. This is accomplished through the Grant program by funding projects in two broad categories: Management and Education & Outreach.

U&CF Management and Education & Outreach projects work in concert to move a community up the U&CF management ladder to sustainable management (see chart below). We classify where a community is in this process starting at a Formative stage, followed by the Tree City USA designation milestone and culminating at the Managing designation. Measuring where a community is in this process is measured by the accomplishment of U&CF Components.

Community Forestry Initiative Diagram

Your Grant Project should demonstrate how it addresses a community need and furthers achieving Tree City USA, a Managing Community Designation or Education & Outreach by accomplishing a U&CF Component working in concert with the local community(s) in your project area(s).

Management Projects

Tree Inventories & Assessments

An inventory of public trees or a tree canopy cover assessment to provide urban forest management information for planning and management purposes.

  •   Statistical Sample Tree Inventory
  •   Partial Tree Inventory
  •   Complete Tree inventory
  •   Canopy Cover Assessment

Management Plan Development

Development of management plans based on inventory and/or assessment data or U&CF activity standards and specifications for the planting, pruning, removal, maintenance, and protection of trees on public property, residential or commercial development projects. Projects may include development of a campus tree care plan for colleges/universities working toward obtaining Tree Campus USA status.

  •   Management Plan
  •   Canopy Cover Plan
  •   Urban Forestry Standards & Specifications Document
  •   Other Plan Types

Ordinance Development

Projects to develop or revise a tree or urban forestry ordinance.

  •   Public Tree Ordinance
  •   Conservation Development Ordinance
  •   Landscaping Ordinance
  •   Historic/Legacy Tree Ordinance

Professional Staff & Development

Professional training for municipal staff in urban and community forest management or funding for a U&CF staff position or consulting arborist/forester.

  •   Professional Training, Certifications & Credentialing
  •   In-House Training and Continuing Education
  •   Professional Urban Forester

Education & Outreach Projects

Education & Outreach Projects work to provide education and training for the public and professionals and/or build advocacy in U&CF. A project should demonstrate how it addresses a community need for education, advocacy and/or outreach.

Education & Training

Projects that provide educational programing or training for the public or target audience in urban and community forestry, the proper planting and maintenance of trees, and the human health benefits, economic benefits and ecosystems services trees and forests provide for our communities.

  •   Educational Workshops
  •   Media Products & Campaigns
  •   U&CF Demonstration Site

Advocacy Group Development

Development of a U&CF advocacy group such as a tree board, not-for-profit organization or volunteer U&CF stewardship group.

  •   Advocacy Group
  •   Volunteer U&CF Stewardship Group
  •   Not-for-Profit

Requirements and Guidelines for All Projects

  • The primary goal(s) of the project must fall within the jurisdictional boundaries of an incorporated North Carolina municipality(s).
  • All project deliverables should be self-sustainable at the end of the project or work to become sustainable in the short term.
  • All projects should include a U&CF educational component.
  • All projects should include public participation.
  • All projects should actively engage the local municipality and partners in the project as well as the use of volunteers.
  • Investigate and provide population demographics and partners within the project area and work inclusively to involve the entire community population and partners in the project.
  • Where possible, engage and serve underserved communities and populations.
  • You are encouraged to engage NCFS District/County staff for participation in the project.
  • Tree Planting/Forestation – Tree planting projects are not eligible. Grant funding for tree planting is available as part of a project but it must be limited in scope and used as part of an educational or outreach component of the project.
  • ANSI A300 Standards & International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Best Management Practices
    • Educational programing, publications and training completed or produced as part of a grant project should cite and utilize these standards.
  • Urban Forestry Professional Services/Consultants
    • Must be adequately credentialed for tasks/role on the project:
      • ISA Certified Arborist
      • ISA Municipal Specialist
      • ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified
      • NC Registered Forester
      • Registered Consulting Arborist
      • American Institute of Certified Planners