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General links

Federal grants
Virginia Outdoors Plan
National Center for Smart Growth

State Agencies

Coastal Zone Management Grants

This link provides comprehensive grant application and procedure guidance. Virginia receives 100% of its funding under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (CZMA). Virginia is awarded funds based on the size of its coastal population and the length of its tidal shoreline. Virginia currently receives about $3 million annually from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management.

Each spring, the Virginia CZM Program staff at the Department of Environmental Quality, works with the Coastal Policy Team to prepare an annual grant application which is submitted by DEQ to NOAA for approval. This application outlines the state projects the Virginia CZM Program will fund with its annual allocation. If approved, projects begin in October of that year and run through September 30 the following year. For more on the grant application process and grantee resources go to Grantee Information.

The Forest Legacy Program

The Forest Legacy Program assists in the acquisition of forestlands or conservation easements from private landowners who are willing to donate or sell their land for preservation as forests in perpetuity. The USDA Forest Service delivers program funding and provides guidance to states. In Virginia, the FLP is administered by DOF, which completed all program participation requirements in 2000. Virginia's FLP emphasizes environmentally important working forests, and greater credit is given those proposals emphasizing the working forest concept. Working forests are those which encompass all of the benefits healthy forests provide, for example, cleansing air, purifying water, providing products, serving as wildlife habitat and fostering recreational opportunities. All areas of Virginia are eligible for FLP projects. Proposals must meet one or more of the following eligibility criteria to be considered: working forests threatened by conversion to non-forest use, conserving timber production capabilities, protecting habitat for threatened and endangered species, serving as a buffer for riparian protection, preserving historic and cultural resources, and encouraging preservation of scenic vistas. Proposals for the FLP must involve tracts of land that are at least 20 acres in size, have a Forest Resource Plan or Multi-Resource Management Plan for the tract, are covered by at least 80 percent forest, and have a willing owner who agrees to a perpetual easement and allows annual monitoring, or is willing to sell the fee simple title to the tract. The FLP funds up to 75 percent of acquisition cost for fee simple or easement purchases. The remaining 25 percent of the funds must be provided by non-federal sources.

Transportation Enhancement Program

SAFETEA-LU is also the funding source for the Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program. The Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program is administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation. The TE program funds 12 categories of transportation related community projects. Two categories include the conversion of abandoned railway corridors into recreational trails, and the development of bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Transportation enhancement activities can be stand-alone projects or can be implemented as part of larger transportation projects. In either case, the TE must relate to the intermodal surface transportation system in function, proximity or impact. Historically, trails and bicycle-pedestrian facilities have accounted for about one-half of all TE funding.

Urban and Community Grant Program

In addition to describing Department of Forestry resources, this link lists other potential cost-share and grant opportunities for forestry-related programs.

The Virginia Land Conservation Fund

The Virginia Land Conservation Fund (VLCF) is a state-funded, 50 percent matching reimbursement program providing for the establishment of permanent conservation easements. It also funds the purchase of open space and park areas, natural areas, historic areas, farmland and forest lands for preservation in perpetuity. The program is a cooperative effort of the DCR, DOF, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Department of Historic Resources (DHR). State agencies, local governments, public bodies and registered (tax-exempt) nonprofit groups are eligible to receive matching grants through this program. Available annual appropriations are divided equally among each of the project categories. Established in 1999, appropriations for this program have allowed four funding cycles. Those cycles have resulted in the approval of 67 projects that have resulted in the acquisition and protection of 20,266.49 land acres.

Federal Agencies

Cooperative Endangered Species

Conservation Fund (Section 6 Funds)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, provides funds to states and territories for species and habitat conservation. In 2006, four grant types were made possible through this fund: Conservation Grants, Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants, Habitat Conservation Land Acquisition Grants and Recovery Land Acquisition Grants. Conservation Grants provide funding for the conservation of listed species and at-risk listed species. Eligible projects include habitat restoration, species status surveys, public education, outreach, captive propagation and re-introduction, nesting surveys and management plan development. Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants serve to aid in supporting the development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP). Eligible activities include baseline surveys, inventories, document preparation, outreach and similar habitat conservation planning activities. HCP Land Acquisition Grants provide funding to acquire land associated with approved HCPs. These funds do not fund mitigation required of an HCP permittee but rather support conservation actions by state or local governments that complement mitigation. Recovery Land Acquisition Grants provide funding for the acquisition of habitat for endangered and threatened species in support of approved recovery plans. States and territories must contribute a minimum of 25 percent of the estimated cost of approved projects. The 25 percent must be from non-federal sources.

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), Virginia State Office, NRCS-VA-33A7-4-2

The Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality. The objective of EQIP is to provide technical and financial help to producers in planning, designing and implementing conservation practices that contribute to agricultural/forestall viability, water quality improvements, soil and plant health, wildlife habitat improvements and other natural resource enhancements. Applicants will be responsible for assisting NRCS in providing technical assistance necessary to plan and implement conservation practices to assist land users dealing with forest resource issues. The successful applicant will be responsible for: making field visits, evaluating and scoring EQIP forestry applications, developing forestry management plans for successful candidates, establishing and certifying conservation practices according to NRCS Standards and Specifications. All work will be in compliance with EQIP guidelines, evaluating the planned practices by a standard set of evaluation criteria furnished by NRCS, and providing technical assistance to implement these practices when approved by NRCS. The applicant will also need to provide technical assistance to land users who are implementing forestry practices approved in prior year EQIP contracts where implementation is planned for the current fiscal year.

EPA: Green Infrastructure Funding Opportunities

Opportunities for funding various green infrastructure projects through grant funding are listed.

Open Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund

Administered by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, the Open Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund was created by the General Assembly to assist landowners with the costs of conveying conservation easements and the purchase of all or part of the value of the easements. Conservation easements preserve farmland, forestland, natural and recreational areas by restricting intensive uses, such as development and mining, which would alter the conservation values of the land. To be eligible for assistance, the easements must be perpetual in duration. Activities that qualify for reimbursement include the cost of appraisals, legal costs, and all or part of the value of the easement. Applications seeking only reimbursement of costs, demonstrating financial need, or covering a family owned or operated farm are given priority.

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program

The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program, which offers private landowners cost-sharing to install practices to improve wildlife habitat. The program is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).Current participation in a USDA program is not a requirement; however, legal ownership of the land is required. Funds are available to private landowners, private companies, sporting groups, hunt clubs, environmental and conservation organizations and others. The WHIP provides up to 75 percent cost-sharing for installation of practices, $10,000 maximum cost-share per applicant, 10-year contracts and maintenance agreements. Eligible activities include disking, prescribed burning, mowing, planting habitat, converting fescue to warm season grasses, establishing riparian buffers, creating habitat for waterfowl, and installing filter strips, field borders and hedgerows

Non-government Funding

The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund partners with corporations, foundations and individuals to recognize outstanding leadership in conservation through award and grant programs. Current programs include The Kodak American Greenways Awards Program, International Paper Environmental Excellence Awards, Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network Grants Program and TheNational Forum on Children and Nature.

National Scenic Byways Program

Projects along designated byways are eligible for National Scenic Byways Program funding managed by the Federal Highway Administration. The following categories of National Scenic Byway grants related to green infrastructure projects include corridor management plan, access to recreation and resource protection.