The Community Engagement and Restoration Mini Grant Program is designed to support activities that enhance communities, engage residents, and improve natural resources. This program runs annually; we typically begin accepting applications at the start of July every year.
What this funds: Activities such as tree plantings, rain gardens, stream cleanups, and storm drain stenciling. To see a longer list of potential projects, read the full Request for Proposals (RFP). Please note the RFP is updated every year.
Who can apply: Nonprofit organizations, community associations, faith-based organizations and more. The Trust seeks to engage groups that have traditionally been under-engaged with environmental issues but also new applicants and organizations from a diverse array of communities. Only applicants who have received three grants or fewer from the Trust in the past are eligible to apply. See RFP for full list of organizations and details.
How much can be awarded: Up to $5,000.
Is match required? Match is encouraged, but not required.
Grant Application Process: The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s grant applications are all submitted through an online system, using the “Start a New Application” button below. If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact this program’s grant manager, Shannon Taylor, at 410-974-2941 ext. 116.
Program Status: OPEN
Deadline: Rolling basis. Requests are accepted on an on-going basis until funds are fully expended for the fiscal year. Projects must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the project start date.
“The CMBC Greening project allowed our congregation to learn about the impact of planting native trees on our land. The tree planting process allowed us to participate in an outdoor project that will have a positive impact on water management, air quality improvement and community engagement. By participating in tree planting in teams, we created a bonding experience for church and community members. This was as valuable to us as the positive impact this project has on the physical environment.”Sister Delmarie HinesAdministrative Assistant, Carolina Missionary Baptist Church
“Bloom the Boulevard is an interactive community greening day that educates and engages Pigtown residents on the impacts their actions have on the health of the Bay. Support from the Chesapeake Bay Trust has enabled us to rent tools to contribute to our cleanup, donate supplies to residents who clean their blocks throughout the year and has allowed us to host two Bloom the Boulevards each year.”Ben HymanExecutive Director, Pigtown Main Street
Resources to assist first-time applicants in compiling the required project documentation are below. To view more resources available to applicants, visit the Resources page.
- Native Plant Species Selection Guide – A downloadable PDF guide produced by the Chesapeake Bay Trust that walks through the importance of using native plants, when and how to use them in projects, and other resources available to find and purchase native plants in the Chesapeake Bay region.
- How to Make a Planting Plan – A guide produced by the Montgomery County RainScapes Rewards Program on how to create a site plan and plant list.
- Plant Calculator – This spreadsheet is designed to assist applicants in determining the quantity of plant material required for restoration projects.
- Maintenance Template – A downloadable Word maintenance template from the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional “Sustainable Landscape Maintenance Manual for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The links below can provide direction and guidance when creating project signage. For an abbreviated list of sign vendors in the region, visit the Resources page.
Awardee: Tuscany Lombardy Community Corporation
Project Title: Sustainable Landscape Enhancements along Linkwood Road
Award Amount: $4,500
The purpose of this project was to establish plantings of native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers along the western edge of the property along Linkwood Road. The new plantings will serve as a model of ecological and landscape design and habitat enrichment for the cooperative members of this community and for the immediate neighborhood and city. Approximately 25 volunteers from Tuscany Lombardy Community Corporation participated in planting day, as well as three students and two faculty from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. Volunteer roles varied from supervision of the planting operation, to planting and mulching, to videography. Volunteers continue their involvement in the ongoing watering of the newly installed materials.
Awardee: Tanglewood Homeowners Association
Project Title: Replace Invasive Bradford Pear Trees with Native trees
Award Amount: $4,682
The goals of this project were to beautify the Homeowner Association’s (HOA) open space along Sunny Spring Road through tree plantings, educate residents about invasive species, and the convey the importance of native plants to the local ecosystem. A total of 18 trees, three shrubs and five pollinator plants were installed by 25 volunteers; 17 of the volunteers (including 5 children) attended a tree planting workshop beforehand to learn about proper tree planting techniques. Securing strong partnerships with trusted organizations such as the Columbia Association helped boost the overall success of this project. In the future, the Tanglewood HOA plans to pursue a conservation landscaping project in an area with existing drainage issues.