Overview of Our Recent USDA Forestry Grant Wins – Securing $29.5 Million for Our Clients!

This year, the USDA provided over $1.5 billion in forestry project grants to 385 organizations. The USDA grants were funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, which enabled the Forest Service to make historic and unprecedented investments in forestry projects designed to benefit disadvantaged communities, leading to improved health outcomes, and other quality-of-life metrics.

Three Writing for Green Clients Win USDA Urban and Community Forestry Grant

Writing for Green helps frontline organizations increase their capacity to write competitive grant applications to receive more funding for their important work. Three out of the five organizations that we assisted in applying for this funding opportunity were awarded grants. Following is a brief overview of these clients and their winning projects. 

Partnership for Southern Equity

Partnership for Southern Equity is a nonprofit organization advancing policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the metropolitan areas of Atlanta and the American South. They secured $2 million in USDA funding for their Canopy for Just Communities Project in Georgia. Their proposed tree planting program includes training local urban forest stewards, strengthening grassroots organizational capacity, and funding for their operations, as well as canopy expansion and maintenance. They anticipate that the project will increase equitable access to nature, reduce urban heat vulnerabilities, increase nature-based solutions to environmental injustice and climate change, engage disadvantaged youth, and reforest urban land for sustainable community benefit. The project covers three of USDA’s funding categories – Restoration and Resilience, Workforce Development, and Planning and Community Engagement.

La Cosecha Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

La Cosecha CSA is a farmer-owned cooperative in New Mexico whose mission is to ensure that low-income South Valley and International District families have adequate and sustainable access to healthy and affordable locally-grown food and nutrition education. La Cosecha CSA received $2.5 million in funds from the USDA for their South Valley Community Forestry Project. The aims of the project are to 1) establish native and edible community forests, 2) create a workforce capable of maintaining the locally adapted forests, and 3) inspire the community to value and sustain natural and heritage landscapes, regenerative agriculture, and local culture. Their project applies to four USDA funding categories – Tree Planting and Maintenance, Restoration and Resilience, Workforce Development, and Extreme Heat.

Green Latinos

Green Latinos is a national non-profit comprised of Latino leaders dedicated to tackling national and local environmental issues impacting the Latino community. They 1) demand equity and dismantle racism in all spaces, 2) work to ensure that they and their partners are resourced to win environmental, conservation, and climate justice battles, and 3) strive for their political, economic, cultural, and environmental liberation. Green Latinos received $25 million from the USDA to operate as a national passthrough organization. They will provide grants to sub-awardees that meet their proposed project’s objectives.

Green Latino’s sub-awardees will be working to meaningfully increase tree canopy in disadvantaged communities. Their project will involve tree assessments to identify locations to expand equitable urban tree canopy – including public housing sites, maintenance experts co-developing site plans with sub-awardees, the planting of trees, and bilingual outreach activities to engage residents in urban forestry. This project will advance five of the USDA’s funding categories – Tree Planting and Maintenance, Restoration and Resilience, Workforce Development, Planning and Community Engagement, and Extreme Heat.

Broader Impact of the USDA Urban and Community Forestry Grant Wins

In the context of Justice40, frontline EJ organizations have a generational opportunity to access significant government funding for their critical work. The USDA’s Urban and Community Forestry Grants have the potential to drastically impact the well-being of millions of Americans living in communities facing extreme heat and many other environmental and health challenges due to limited access to trees and canopy coverage.

What are the Keys to Writing for Green’s Success?

The Writing for Green team is a group of dedicated and experienced grant-writing professionals who, in their careers, have each raised millions for nonprofit and frontline organizations. Collectively, Writing for Green’s team brings decades of experience to meet the many diverse needs of our clients.

This funding opportunity is just one example of the many that Writing for Green is helping our clients to access; we are honored to be playing an important role in this effort and are excited for the opportunities that 2024 holds in store for our clients.

If you are interested in learning more about the awardees of the USDA Urban and Community Forestry Grants, you can visit their 2023 Grant Awards page here.

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