COLLEGE STATION, Texas (FOX 44) – Texas A&M Forest Service is offering $16.65 million in grant funding through the Community Forestry Grants program to bolster urban and community forestry initiatives in communities across the state.

The Forest Service says these competitive grants are designed to establish sound urban and community forestry principles to promote the protection and enhancement of urban and community forest ecosystems throughout Texas. The funding aims to increase tree cover to 30 percent of Texas school campuses through schoolyard forest grants and provide competitive pass-through community greening grants to local tree advocacy groups and community-based organizations.

To support these goals, grant funding is available in seven categories – Human Health Equity and Accessibility, Municipal Foresters, Geospatial Analysis 65, Climate Resiliency, Tree City USA, Tree Planting and Schoolyard Forests.

Funding was increased through The U.S. Department of Agriculture, providing Texas A&M Forest Service $21.75 million. The funding comes as part of the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, and will help Texas expand its urban forest canopy, improve air and water quality, reduce energy consumption and enhance the health and well-being of residents.

Community, civic and neighborhood groups can apply with an eligible entity as a sponsor.  Eligible entities for these grants must be public or non-profit, including State and local government agencies, public education institutions, NGOs or non-profits and public utility districts. Individuals, businesses and federal agencies are not eligible.

The application worksheets for the 2024 Community Forestry Grants program are available in preparation for the proposal submission window of December 11 through February 16.

The application worksheets contain instructions, requirements and a question form for each category required at the time of proposal submission. A guidance document is available to serve as a manual for how the grants can be prepared, frequently asked questions and helpful tips.

Communities, non-profit organizations and schools interested in applying for any category can review requirements, use the application worksheet to prepare for the grant filing process and explore implementation examples here: Community Forestry Grants.