Resource for City Staff

Looking for financial information and forms contact

Grant Project Manager: Valerie McClannahan
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 651-259-5283

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be your main point of contact for the financial pieces of this grant and will:

  • answer questions about your grant agreement/contract.
  • answer questions about what is reimbursable with grant funds.
  • be who you will submit invoices, match, Status Update Reports, and Planting Reports to.
  • reimburse invoices and distribute grant funds.
  • provide you reports of your community's accomplishments for you to share with leaders in your community.
  • will work with you and your community to meet grant requirements to improve your community forest.

Looking for recruiting and volunteer information contact

Professor of Urban and Community Forestry: Gary Johnson
Email: [email protected]
Phone number: 612-625-3765

You will be working directly with staff from the University of Minnesota's Department of Forest Resources to recruit and train volunteers that will help you maintain your newly planted trees. Department of Forest Resources staff will work with your community staff to engage local citizens by:

  • developing news releases, posters, and flyers about volunteer training and your volunteer events.
  • developing and providing volunteer training specific to the needs of your community.
  • hosting a website for a central location of volunteer data submission, and volunteer event and training signup.

Finances

When submitting for reimbursement, any cash-match contribution, or in-kind match contribution, make sure to completely fill out the appropriate forms in full as to expedite processing. Reimbursements will only be made after forms are filled to completion with all necessary documentation.

All purchases that you submit as part of this grant must be considered an "Eligible Expense". For the purposes of this grant eligible expenses will be defined as expenses that not only benefit your community's urban and community forest but can also be used to engage citizens and volunteers. If you are ever unsure of a purchase, contact Valerie McClannahan.

Grant Funds

As a Grantee you are expected to make initial purchases, and then request reimbursement under the terms of the grant agreement. You can receive partial payments of your total grant only up to 90 percent of the grant funds awarded. The remaining 10 percent or more of the grant funds will be paid after completion of the final report.

Required forms:

  • Partial grant reimbursement
    • This form is what you will fill out when you are requesting grant funds to reimburse you for purchases that you have made. Items eligible for compensation and reimbursements with grant funds include, but are not limited to the purchase of:
      • trees on the list for trees that are reimbursable with grant funds.
      • water bags.
      • tools that will be utilized by your volunteer group which include but are not limited to pruning shears, handsaws, shovels, etc.
      • mulch.
        • Not every box in the form will be applicable. Please fill out all that are for each invoice you would like reimbursement for. If receipt or proof of payment has non-reimbursable items on it, highlight the items you are requesting reimbursement for and put the total dollar amount you are requesting reimbursement in the "Total Amount" box.
  • Status update report
    • This form should be submitted biannually when submitting for grant reimbursement funds.
  • Tree planting report
    • When hosting a community tree planting event, please use this form and submit with your grant reimbursement request.
  • Maps of all trees planted
    • Please map all trees that you plant and are requesting reimbursement for.
    • There is no standardized form for submitting maps, however if you would like help or recommendations, please get in touch with Valerie McClannahan.

Matching Grant Funds

Matching this grant is not required but can help both your community and the DNR obtain grant funds in the future. Matching funds must be raised from non-federal sources and cannot be used to match any other federal grant. Any match should be an "Eligible Expense". If you are willing to track and submit match funds, a good goal to shoot for is 50% or your total grant.

Applicable forms:

  • Cash match: Cash match items can include items that you have purchased to add to your grant project that you are not requesting reimbursement for. Cash match cannot be additionally acquired Federal Funds.

Purchases not eligible for reimbursement may be submitted as a cash-match, but must be an "Eligible Expense" for the project. Ineligible grant-funded expenses that can be purchased by the city that are an eligible cash-match include, but is not limited to:

    • food or beverages for volunteer events.
    • payment for ad in local newspaper or for social media.
    • the purchase or rental of any utility vehicle.
    • storage shed for tools, or any other building in regards to this project.
  • In-kind match: In-kind match can include staff time or the estimated value of usage time for currently owned tools or equipment. All in-kind matches must be justified for direct project use.
    • Staff time: Although some of your city staff time is required to manage this project and grant, this form is not required. However, tracking this and submitting staff time with hourly rate is another way to help both your community and the DNR to potentially receive grants in the future. Your in-kind staff match can include salary and overhead as well, meaning salary plus benefits.
    • Tools or Equipment: As an example, in-kind match can include estimated dollars per hour for use of an already owned utility vehicle. A good way to justify your in-kind match with equipment is to cite what the rental fee for it would be from a rental company.
    • Volunteer time also qualifies for match, so the more volunteers you have the more match there is. The University of Minnesota will have a system for your volunteers to submit their time so that volunteer time can be easily tracked.

Required signage

All projects completed in the field will require signage to state that funds were received from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Any project completed in the field, that will be visible to the general public, will require signage that gives project information and credit to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Forest Service.

Here are some examples of signage:

Any signage intended to fulfill this requirement must receive prior approval by the Forest Service prior to implementation. Please send draft signage electronically to Valerie McClannahan at [email protected] who will pass it along to appropriate staff at the Forest Service.