May 10, 2013


2014 U.S. Forest Service National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant Program


Request for Pre-Proposals (RFP) and Application Instructions

The Secretary of Agriculture has a congressionally designated advisory council that assists the U.S. Forest Service in establishing the grant categories and recommendations of final proposals for the Forest Service to consider. This is the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (Council). The Council serves to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the status of the nation’s urban and community forests and related natural resources. The Council seeks to establish sustainable urban and community forests, by encouraging communities of all sizes to manage and protect their natural resources, which, if well managed, improves the public’s health, well-being, economic vitality, and creates resilient ecosystems for present and future generations.
Urban and Community Forestry Program Requirements
The Council recommends urban and community forestry projects that have national or multi-state application and impact through the U.S. Forest Service’s competitive Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant Program. A proposal’s content must meet the Urban and Community Forestry program authorities as designated by Congress in the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act, (Section 9 PDF, pp. 19-24)] and the annual criteria set forth by the Council. A listing of the previously funded projects can be viewed at
Urban and Community Forestry: The art, science, and technology of managing trees, forests, and natural systems on public lands in and around cities, suburbs, and towns for the health and well-being of all people.
Underserved Communities: Underserved Communities are communities that do not receive equitable financial and technical assistance as other communities might, in maximizing the benefits from the conservation and management of their natural resources. In this context we consider underserved as low income, under represented racial / ethnic minorities; Native Americans; people with disabilities and the elderly.
Nontraditional: Organizations, agencies, businesses not traditionally involved in urban and community forestry.
Available Funding: The U.S. Forest Service anticipates that the statutory authority (Sub Title 9 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act) for the Fiscal Year 2014 Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Program may provide, approximately $900,000 in grant funds to be awarded through the 2014 National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant Program. Funds are to support national urban and community forestry projects on nonfederal public land that have a national or widespread impact and application. All awards are based on the availability of funding, which may be subject to change.
Eligible Applicants: Any U.S. non-Federal organization, operating within the United States or its territories, may apply for the Challenge Cost-Share grant. While collaboration with Federal agencies is encouraged, a Federal agency may not receive funding or be used as match to the Federal funds being requested. Individuals and private land are not eligible. The Forest Service will address any conflicts of interest.
If an entity has a local/State tree-planting projects, capital improvements to property of any ownership, and/or projects that have only a local impact and applicability are not eligible and they should contact their State Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for assistance in identifying funding alternatives at the local level. The list of State Coordinators may be found at the following website:
Matching Requirements: All grant funds must be matched at least equally (dollar for dollar) with non-Federal source funds. This match may include in-kind donations, volunteer assistance, and private and public (non-federal) monetary contributions. All matching funds must be directly related to the proposed project. The source of matching funds must be identified and grantees must comply with all applicable Federal regulations.
Award, Reporting and Presentations: The Forest Service will notify a grant recipient of their award and when they may proceed. Written progress reports are to be submitted bi-annually to their respective Forest Service Urban Forestry Program Manager for verification and approval. Financial progress reports are required to be submitted quarterly.
Grantees may also be asked to present, in person/webcast, their project progress report at one of the Councils’ annual meetings. The Forest Service shall be notified, thirty days prior to an active grant’s information or data being presented to the public or peers.
Grant Writing Assistance: There are various internet sites that provide valuable grant writing tips and guidance for developing competitive grant proposals. One in particular is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance website at:
Acknowledgement of the U.S. Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program. All applicants that receive grant awards will be required to acknowledge the Forest Service and the National Urban and Community Advisory Council in any written, electronic, or verbal, documents, websites, publications, emails, video, photos, power points, webinars etc. that the Federal grant dollars supported.
Written statements may use:
“This project is funded in full or in part by the U.S. Forest Service National Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program as recommended by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council.”
Inquiries: All questions regarding the program should be directed to Nancy Stremple, Executive Staff to the Council, at (202) 205-7829 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern).
The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council seeks innovative (new, cutting-edge or builds upon existing studies) grant proposals for program development, study, and collaboration that will address strategies in the Ten Year Action Plan. Specifically for this Request for Proposals, the Council is considering proposals to address the following priority issues:
  • Making Urban Trees and Forests More Resilient to the Impacts of Natural Disasters and the Long-term Impacts of Climate Change
  • Green Infrastructure Jobs Analysis
  • Utilizing Green Infrastructure to Manage and Mitigate Stormwater to Improve Water Quality
Application Deadlines
Pre-proposals must be posted to or courier hard copies received by 11:59 PM Eastern, July 15, 2013.
Pre-proposals selected for full proposals will be (tentatively) due by 11:59 PM Eastern, November 15, 2013.
The U.S. Forest Service typically will award the successful projects as Federal Financial Assistance Grants no later than September 30, 2014.
For Application, visit: