By Laura Buntrock, DNR UF Partnership & Policy Specialist, Rhinelander; Laura.Buntrock@wisconsin.gov or 608-294-0253
We are excited to share the following updates on Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act Grants through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR was allocated $4.875 million of Inflation Reduction Act funds from the USDA Forest Service earlier this year. Of that, $4 million will be sub-awarded to local entities through our competitive grant program. Given the requirements and intentions of these funds, the Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act Grants will look different from the grants we have offered in the past. We have meticulously worked through the emergency rule change process to temporarily modify the structure of our grant program to facilitate the disbursement of this new funding. Our regular and start-up grant offerings will continue unchanged in 2024.
General Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act Grant Information:
- No match required
- Eligible projects must benefit disadvantaged communities
- Eligible applicants include local governments, tribal governments and 501(c)(3) nonprofits
- Minimum grant award of $1,000, maximum grant award of $500,000
- Grant agreements will be in effect for up to three years, with no extensions
- All grantees can receive up to 50% of the award in advance
- Grantees may request annual reimbursements for multi-year projects
To our knowledge, we will not receive any additional Inflation Reduction Act funding from the USDA Forest Service. We intend to award the entire $4 million in this round of grants. This is the opportunity to apply for the DNR’s Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act Grant!
Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act Grant Timeline (Subject To Change):
Early January: DNR shares a map and list of disadvantaged communities; DNR requests public input for the Inflation Reduction Act Grant guidance document
Early February: DNR hosts a pre-release webinar on the Inflation Reduction Act Grants
Late February: The grant application period opens
March through May: DNR hosts multiple webinars with time for Q&A
Early June: Applications due
Late July: DNR notifies applicants of funding status
Early September: Grant projects start
As mentioned above, eligible projects must benefit disadvantaged communities. The Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act Grants are thus designed to fund projects that positively impact trees and people within these communities as identified using existing federal equity screening tools.
Potential projects should directly conserve, protect, expand or improve urban forests (e.g., planting, hazard tree removal, pest control, etc.). They can also be capacity-building endeavors (e.g., management plans, ordinances, staff training, tree board development, workforce development, inventories and public education). The grants are intended to support new projects and should not subsidize ongoing operations or replace existing funds.
Stay tuned for more newsfeed articles on the Inflation Reduction Act Grants in the new year. In these articles, we will be sharing a map and list of disadvantaged communities, information on how to participate in the public input process for the grant guidance document and the dates of informational webinars.