Improving Community Forests Through Citizen Engagement

Through funding provided through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources welcomes proposals that engage citizens in improving community forests. Proposals can request grant funds or the use of Conservation Corps crews. Grant funds and crew use are intended to aid in the engagement of citizens to encourage volunteerism in community forestry activities. The four question application is due October 5, 2018.


Any local unit of government within Minnesota is eligible including but not limited to tribal communities, municipalities, and county agencies.

Minimum requirements:

These qualifications are essential requirements of the communities receiving a grant:

  • Must have a history in engaging volunteers in urban and community forestry such as through volunteer tree planting, pruning, watering, etc.
  • The ability to match the grant amount at a minimum of 25%, of which 50% must be cash match and the other 50% can be in-kind. In-kind contributions are considered: personnel time on project, equipment use, etc. If you have over-matched with this grant, those funds may be considered in lieu of additional match.
  • The community has shown an ability to manage existing volunteers.
  • Proposals must show ability to implement project and spend grant funds by May 1, 2019.
  • Grantees must provide photo documentation of the project’s progress at appropriate phases, and illustrations, diagrams, charts, graphs, and maps to show results.
  • Grantees will be required to comply with all Federal and State laws and regulations related to the completion of projects as stated in the letter of award.

Grant funds can be used for, but will not be limited to:

  • Tree Inventory or Survey.
  • Purchase of trees for diversity.
  • Tree maintenance tools such as pruner and water bags as well as site preparation and planting including shovels, mulch, watering bags, staking materials, and tree wrap or guards.
  • Contractual services for management plans.
  • Equipment purchases less than $5,000 that are used to complete the project. This can include items such as augers for pre-drilling holes for planting, or water truck tanks that can be used by volunteers.
  • Materials used to educate, engage, and conduct outreach to citizens.

Conservation Corps crews can be used for:

  • tree planting.
  • site preparation for tree planting including pre-digging holes, or removal of trees and invasives, etc. (Conservation Corps will need to assess trees prior to agreement.)
  • building a gravel bed.

Application Process

2016 Communities Awarded Grant Funds

  • Ada
  • Arlington
  • Ely
  • Fridley
  • Hutchinson
  • Mankato
  • Maple Grove
  • North Saint Paul
  • Rochester
  • Saint James
  • Saint Paul
  • Shakopee

Program Funding

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative‐Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) as recommended by the Legislative‐Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

The trust fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by Minnesotans to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation and enhancement of the state's air, water, land, fish, wildlife and other natural resources.