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Current Grant Opportunities

Grant Opportunities

Chicago Region Trees Initiative Grants Hub
March 17, 2024

Chicago Region Trees Initiative Grants Hub

Funding Opportunities Chicago Region Trees Initiatives CTI) maintains a hub with grants that can help you plant and care for trees, expand your municipal or nonprofit environmental programs, tackle invasive species in your community, plant pollinator gardens, enhance your community advocacy efforts, and more! Be sure to read the Request ...
Trees Forever Grants Hub
March 17, 2024

Trees Forever Grants Hub

Project Funding Grants available through Trees Forever can be accessed here. Those in Illinois that will open soon include: Illinois Community Canopy: Tree Inventories Fund the completion of a tree inventory and management plan that will guide your town to maintain and expand its canopy and help you address issues ...

Funding Sources
Studies show that communities with access to trees and green spaces are associated with improved health outcomes, reduced crime, lower average temperatures, and an influx of other kinds of investments and new economic opportunities. Through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the Forest Service is making historic investments - over $1 billion - in boosting the nation’s tree cover in urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide with a focus on tree equity.  And our partners, Trees Forever, Faith in Place, and the Chicago Region Trees Initiative are all recipients of this funding. See opportunities, with each, below.

But there also are resources available for communities that do not qualify as disadvantaged per the screen tools mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act. Take a look at the many opportunities resources below.  Use our contact form if you need help determining qualifications, and the best source of funding for your needs.

Trees Forever
Recover, Replant, Restore
Grants of $500 to $3,000 are available to Illinois communities diversifying their community forests or recovering from natural or man-made disasters particularly emerald ash borer (EAB). The grants also will help communities prepare for future disasters by planting more diverse disease- and storm-resistant shade trees. Projects may include planting trees along streets, trails, community entryways, at schools, public buildings, parks and more.

(Public Lands - Open to municipalities or groups working with municipalities)

Granting a Better Tomorrow
Grants of $100 to $1,500 are available with an emphasis on youth and underserved schools and communities. These funds are for projects in the United States, in areas not currently receiving funding from other Trees Forever programs. Grants are for tree-planting and educational projects, including seedling giveaways, pollinator (trees & plants) plantings, rain gardens with trees, educational classroom projects, club or church projects, fruit and nut orchards, school memorials, cemetery plantings and disaster recovery projects. 

(Public Lands)

Carbon Credit Program
Trees Forever has partnered with City Forest Credits, a U.S.-based nonprofit carbon registry, to offer Carbon+ Credits, a standardized unit that delivers quantified and reportable CO2 sequestration, stormwater reductions, energy savings, and air quality improvements. Companies with social responsibility goals purchase Carbon+ Credits.

NOTE:  This program is currently being revised to make it viable for small tree plantings, and is not currently available. Watch Trees Forever's webpage for updates.

(Public Lands)

In the coming months, Trees Forever also will be rolling out three additional grants, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act. Eligibility for each will be determined by the Illinois IRA Screening Tool:

  • Community tree planting grants for underserved communities. Tree planting grants up to $15,000 dollars will be awarded for planting in 2024.
  • Inventory and management plan funding for plans that meet the specifications adopted for the program. This will allow towns to know what their species composition is and the health of those trees currently growing on public property.
  • Tree removal funding for communities that achieve Tree City USA designation through the Arbor Day Foundation. Funding up to $25,000 is available for the removal of unhealthy or damaged public trees for those towns that become Tree City USA communities.

Faith in Place
Faith in Place has received $1.6 million from the U.S. Forest Service for tree planting in in disadvantaged communities to increase equitable access to trees and the many benefits they provide to our planet.  Funds will be regranted over five years for projects across Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Funding will be awarded to community-based organizations and other partners, including houses of worship and faith-based organizations, located in and serving “disadvantaged communities” according to the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) from the White House Council of Environmental Quality.

Funds can be used for workforce development and food forests. To receive more information about their grant application process, please sign up here.

(public and private lands)

Chicago Region Trees Initiative
More IRA Grants
The Morton Arboretum was awarded $15 million of these funds, which will be administered by CRTI to expand and improve the tree canopy in disadvantaged communities throughout Illinois. We will be announcing requests for proposals in spring 2024 for sub-grants that will benefit underserved communities to improve the urban forest. Use this Illinois IRA Screening Tool to determine eligibility.

These grants will be available to community groups, nonprofits, governments, universities, and others to do work on public land.

More information will be coming soon!

CRTI's Grant Hub Page
Browse their resources to find grants that can help you plant and care for trees, expand your municipal or nonprofit environmental programs, tackle invasive species in your community, plant pollinator gardens, enhance your community advocacy efforts, and more! Read the Request for Proposals (RFP) section to determine if your entity is eligible to apply.

American Forests
Catalyst Initiative and Fund
The Catalyst Initiative and Catalyst Fund are a key part of our promise to help at least 100 cities make meaningful progress on Tree Equity by 2030 through best-in-class tools, resources and equitable funding. The Catalyst Initiative will: 1) help identify and engage city, community frontline and faith-based actors facing the greatest barriers to entry into the Tree Equity movement; 2) provide no-cost technical assistance with American Forests’ Tree Equity tools and expertise; and provide cash grants which, when paired with tailored technical assistance, can realize catalytic and sustained progress in Tree Equity for those actors facing barriers to entry. 

(Public Lands)

Tree Equity Workforce Network
American Forests received $100,000 grants through the Tree Equity Workforce Network to three programs that will implement the organization’s Arboriculture Pre-Employment Curriculum.

In addition to funding that will support operations and training needs for these programs, American Forests will be providing technical assistance and cohort-style learning for grantees. All three program organizations are members of the Tree Equity Workforce Network, launched in December 2022 to facilitate group learning, collaborative problem-solving and provide an open forum for peer-to-peer networking.

Fruit Tree Planting Foundation
Fruit Tree Planting Program
FTPF programs strategically donate orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, at places such as community gardens, public schools, city/state parks, low-income neighborhoods. Recipients must be nonprofits, NGOs, public schools, or government entities serving a charitable purpose.

Healthy Babies Bright Futures
Bright Cities Program
The Bright  Cities Program periodically awards grants of $15,000 to $25,000 to cities working to reduce emission and pollutant levels and help children grow up in a healthy environment. 

(Public Lands)

Quad Cities Community Foundation
QC River Connections Grant
The QC River Connections grants up to $50,000 for projects and organizations that address environmental issues facing the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities area. Emphasis is on supporting efforts that build and strengthen relationships among people, organizations, communities, and the river. This grant  prioritizes underrepresented groups in the environmental sector, including communities of color and low-income communities, as well as people, neighborhoods, and communities most affected by environmental issues facing the Mississippi River, but have less access to resources and opportunities to influence solutions.