Forest Service offering tree planting grants for Chesapeake Bay

DOVER  —  The Delaware Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Program is offering a new “Partnership Tree Planting Grant” to nonprofit groups who own property within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The U&CF Program will award eight (8) $1000 matching grants on a first-come, first-served basis to qualifying nonprofit groups who apply by February 27, 2015. While the program’s main objective is to improve water quality in the regional Bay watershed, trees can offer grant recipients many other natural benefits such as cleaner air, reduced erosion, and aesthetics. Reports also indicate that trees can improve property and resale values and enhance community well-being.

Requirements for a Nonprofit Group to Apply for the Tree Planting Grants

  • Must be a certified 501(c)(3) organization based in the State of Delaware. Common types include nonprofit religious, educational, charitable, scientific, or literary organizations
  • Must own land located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed with a parcel registered in the organization’s name that appears on the county’s tax parcel list (must provide parcel number)
  • Must provide a 50-50 cost-share match in either cash or in-kind services. Sufficient volunteer hours for planning, organizing, and carrying out the project can meet this requirement without a need for cash

Greenwood Tree Planting Event_2012 (27)
FFA volunteers from Woodbridge High School and Delaware Urban and Community Forestry Program staff participated in this tree planting project in a community park in Greenwood, Sussex County.

Benefits of Tree Planting Grants

  • Grants can be a no-cost* way to beautify and enhance an organization’s campus and grounds
  • Tree plantings can bring an organization’s membership together on a project to benefit the environment
  • Organizations may only need to match about 47 hours of volunteer time to fulfill requirements for a $1000 grant

Technical Assistance For Grant Projects

Delaware Forest Service staff will offer assistance at every stage of the tree planting project:

  • Meet with organizations to discuss their project
  • Identify a suitable site for the tree planting
  • Select the best species for the particular location
  • Help to calculate the volunteer hours and services for grant match so the project can take place at no cost
  • Schedule a planting day in the spring of 2015
  • Purchase and deliver the trees to the actual site
  • Oversee the planting and recommend steps for follow-up care of the new trees

Grant Application Deadline: Feb. 27, 2015

How to Apply

  • Nonprofit organizations that might benefit from the Partnership Tree Planting Grant and can meet the 50-50 cost match requirement (can be met by volunteer hours at no cost to the group) are invited to apply by contacting Kesha Braunskill, Delaware Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program, by telephone – (302) 659-6704  or email –
  • Delaware Urban and Community Forestry website at