The Outreach and Restoration Grant Program is a partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Trust and BGE an Exelon Company, Charles County, the City of Baltimore Department of Public Works, the City of Gaithersburg, the City of Rockville, the City of Salisbury, Harford County, Howard County, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration, Queen Anne’s County, and Tradepoint Atlantic.
This grant program encourages outreach, community engagement activities, and on-the-ground restoration projects that increase knowledge, change behavior, and accelerate stewardship of natural resources that involve residents in restoring local green spaces, waterways, and natural resources.
Watch the recording of our informational webinar!
Watch the recording of our informational webinar to learn more about the program, eligible projects, the online application, grant writing tips, and more.
What this funds: This grant program welcomes applications for projects in the state of Maryland. Applicants can request funds from one of the following tracks.
- Track 1: Outreach/Knowledge Building Projects (up to $50,000)
- Track 2: Behavior Change Projects (up to $75,000)
- Track 3: Restoration Projects (up to $100,000)
- Track 4: Outreach and Restoration Projects (up to $125,000)
Who can apply: Non-profit organizations, community and homeowner associations, faith-based organizations, and more. See the RFP for full list of organizations.
Is match required? Match is encouraged but not required.
By the Numbers
Partnerships and Project Highlights
- Charles County
- City of Baltimore DPW
- City of Gaithersburg
- City of Salisbury
- Harford County
- Howard County
- Maryland Port Administration
- Queen Anne's County
- Tradepoint Atlantic
Overview of Partnerships:
The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to partner with Charles County, the City of Baltimore Department of Public Works, the City of Gaithersburg, the City of Salisbury, Harford County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration, and Tradepoint Atlantic to offer the Outreach and Restoration Grant Program. Click on each tab to learn more about each partnership.
Previous Awarded Projects:
In 2015, Charles County and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust) began a partnership to fund projects in the County through the Outreach and Restoration Grant Program. Through this program, this partnership funds projects such as the planning, design, and construction of stormwater management practices, stream and wetland restoration, and public education and outreach that will ultimately improve water quality in Charles County communities and/or increase citizen awareness and involvement in watershed protection efforts. Funds are provided by the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management through the Charles County Watershed Protection and Restoration Program. Charles County is committed to bettering the health and well-being of County residents by investing back into the communities it serves. The Trust also partners with the County on the Charles County Forestry Grant Program.
Creating Watershed Defenders in Charles County: Engaging the Latino Community in Watershed Stewardship Through Health and Faith
Defensores de la Cuenca (Defenders of the Watershed)
Award Amount: $21,391
This project engages the Latinx community in Charles County to participate in fun, safe, and accessible workshops/activities to increase their understanding of threats to the watershed and actions to support clean water using principles of faith, family, and health/wellness. The Spanish-language watershed workshops and stewardship activities will raise awareness about the impact trees have on water and air quality, create positive behaviors to benefit the watershed, and promote stewardship in the County.
Charles County Agriculture and Environmental Service Center Conservation & Education BMP Designs
Charles Soil Conservation District
Award Amount: $4,800
This project enabled the planting of over 1,000 native pollinator-friendly plants and the installation of practices such as rain gardens and grassed waterways on the property of the Agricultural and Environmental Service Center. The installations will help treat the impervious surface on the property, reduce the amount of soil loss, phosphorus, and nitrogen released into the Zekiah Swamp Run Watershed. The project also engaged students and coaches in trainings, during which they were taught about the ecological benefits that the installed practices offer. Beyond the beneficial reduction in soil loss and nutrient run-off and attraction of native pollinators achieved by the implementation of this project, the high volume of visitors to this property provides the unique opportunity to continue to educate and engage.
Watershed Discovery and Exploration for Low-Income Families in Charles County
United Way of Charles County
Award Amount: $25,038
Through a widely collaborative effort, 84 residents of underserved communities were able to access a day of education and engage in an opportunity to experience their watershed. United Way of Charles County partnered with numerous community-based organizations to design and implement a program that would introduce residents to their local watersheds and remove all barriers of access. For qualifying families, this project provided program costs, transportation, food, and resources to assist their efforts to practice environmental stewardship. A day in the program consisted of receiving education about the watershed, followed by a watercraft experience either by kayaks in Indian Head or by canoes in Piscataway Park. After the watercraft portion of the day, the groups debriefed and ended the day with a litter cleanup of the area.
By the Numbers
In 2014, the City of Baltimore, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust) offered a unique opportunity for the transformation of Baltimore City vacant lots. With the Growing Green Design Competition: Vacant Lots Transformed, teams of community groups and designers created greening projects for vacant land in their communities for beautification and reduction and treatment of stormwater runoff. Since 2015, Baltimore City Department of Public Works has continued to partner with the Trust through the Outreach and Restoration grant program to engage a diverse range of organizations, both with community-related missions and environmental-focused missions, to facilitate projects that reduce polluted runoff, increase water quality, and enhance communities.
Pathways Out of Poverty through Comprehensive Stormwater Training
Civic Works’ Baltimore Center for Green Careers
Award Amount: $30,000
Civic Works’ Baltimore Center for Green Careers delivered comprehensive, certification-based occupational and essential skills training in stormwater management to one pilot cohort of 8 underserved Baltimore City residents facing significant barriers to employment over 12 months. The training combined classroom instruction with hands-on practicum, and on-the-job training on real worksites. This Outreach project engaged Baltimore residents from underserved communities of color in green infrastructure solutions for restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
“Under this Outreach and Restoration grant, Civic Works built a strong foundation for its new stormwater management training track and will further expand and continue the operation of the training program.”Civic Works
Construction of Stormwater Facilities and Outreach Program at Cylburn Arboretum
Award Amount: $61,650
This project at Cylburn Arboretum had three components: (1) collection, direction and treatment of storm water discharged from the roof of the Cylburn Mansion into new rain gardens; (2) treatment of storm water in an adjacent wooded area known as Moudry Woods, where new berms will slow the storm water and improve the infiltration capacity of the soils, reducing erosion and run-off; and (3) outreach and education to inform people attending three workshop programs about how to identify storm water issues and develop “best practices” to manage it on their own properties, reducing runoff and erosion.
“The curiosity generated by the installation and the gradual acceptance and building excitement about the creative techniques for managing storm water have been rewarding and support our own notion that building this was a good thing to do. The fact that many of techniques and plant choices will work in a smaller, residential property, gave people the knowledge and inspiration to try it on their own.”Cylburn Arboretum
By the Numbers
In 2015, the City of Gaithersburg and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust) began a partnership to fund projects in the City through the Outreach and Restoration Grant Program. Through this program, this partnership funds projects such as the implementation of stormwater management practices and public education and outreach to improve water quality in City of Gaithersburg communities and increase citizen awareness and involvement in environmental stewardship. Funds are provided by the City of Gaithersburg Department of Public Works Stormwater Program Fund. The City is committed to bettering the health and well-being of City residents and local natural resources by investing back into the communities it serves.
Installation of a Green Roof and Cistern for Epworth United Methodist Church
Muddy Branch Alliance
Award Amount: $45,000
Muddy Branch Alliance worked with Epworth United Methodist Church to install restoration practices on the church property and engage the community. An extensive green roof and 530-gallon cistern were installed, which will reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that flows off the property. The water captured by the cistern will be used for irrigation of the onsite vegetable garden and flowers in the conservation garden. The church plans to use the installed practices as part of their youth education, which will emphasize the connection between stormwater management and community health. Educational signage was also installed, which will continue to provide education and outreach for future visitors and members of the church.
“It takes team work...the City of Gaithersburg and the Chesapeake Bay Trust were very helpful. The green roof has grown since its installation, the conservation garden is growing and thriving and providing a winter habitat for wildlife.”Muddy Branch Alliance
Faith Partners for Clean Watersheds
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
Award Amount: $38,454
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC) works with faith-based organizations to merge the worlds of faith with environmental stewardship. For this project, IPC offered members of congregations in Gaithersburg several engaging activities, such as nature walks and Action Planning workshops. The nature walk followed a segment of the Muddy Branch within Malcolm King Park, Gaithersburg. Through this activity, members of congregations gained knowledge about watershed issues, rooted their learning in the faith context, and learned about tangible solutions for watershed restoration. An Action Planning workshop was offered to develop a plan of action in response to the call to stewardship, which offered members clear steps forward to assist them in developing a plan for their congregation to take on a project.
“[Participants] valued the space created for sharing ideas, hearing what others have done or are thinking about doing, and receiving encouragement for their own steps forward.”Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
By the Numbers
In 2019, the City of Salisbury and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust) began a partnership to fund projects in the City through the Outreach and Restoration Grant Program. Through this program, this partnership funds projects that improve water quality in the City of Salisbury communities through environmental restoration and enhancing public awareness about local natural resources and the benefits of stormwater management practices. Funds are provided by the City of Salisbury Department of infrastructure and Development Stormwater Utility Fee. The City is committed to bettering the health and well-being of City residents and local natural resources by investing back into the communities it serves.
Wicomico Public Libraries
Award Amount: $7,853
Wicomico Public Libraries installed an outdoor StoryWalk extending from the front of the library in Downtown Salisbury through a portion of the City’s RiverWalk along the Wicomico River. The Storywalk features different environmentally-themed picture book stories throughout the year which are told page by page over 20 signs spread over a one-third of a mile. Stories include One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul and Elizabeth Zunon and We Are Water Protectors by Maryland author Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade.
St. Peter’s Pervious Parking Lot Project and Outreach
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Award Amount: $64,358
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church removed and replaced their 2,800 square foot parking lot with permeable pavement. In partnership with Lower Shore Land Trust and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, they also installed a pollinator garden and conducted educational sessions. This project serves as a demonstration for other congregations in the City and surrounding region on ways to connect faith and care for the environment.
In 2017, the partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Harford County Department of Public Works began and grew out of a mutual desire to protect and restore natural resources in Harford County. The funding partners believe in investing in community projects that soak up stormwater and educate residents about environmental issues. As such, Harford County government allocates funding from their general funds to support knowledge-building and restoration projects through the Outreach and Restoration grant program.
Havre de Grace Living Shoreline Restoration and Storm Water Management
Havre de Grace Maritime Museum
Award Amount: $35,508
This project created a riparian buffer along 600 feet of cove and tidal shoreline and a pilot storm water management initiative for rain barrel workshops, where 75 barrels for were provided for residents. The riparian buffer installation included clearing of trash/debris; controlling invasive plants; planting indigenous bushes and low-growing trees; and educational signage installation.
“The greatest success of this project was the ability to collaborate with the City, County, Maryland DNR, and contractors. This was a terrific opportunity for everyone to work together for the betterment of the Chesapeake Bay.”- Havre de Grace Maritime Museum
One Water Partnership
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
Award Amount: $17,000
Through the One Water Partnership program, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake worked to cultivate congregations in Harford County by engaging 11 congregations in planning restoration projects on their grounds. In an effort to increase knowledge of natural resource topics in participants the project consisted of action planning and grant-writing workshops, nature walks, a bus tour, and a rain barrel workshop.
“...congregation members value the opportunity to come together and learn from each other. This may, in fact, be one of the best ways to spur action”- Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
By the Numbers
In 2016, the partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Howard County began with the goal to fund projects that engage communities and protect local natural resources to improve the health and well-being of County residents by investing back into the communities it serves. This partnership supports the County’s goal of “improving water quality and to make progress on environmental restoration efforts for compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) requirements for meeting water quality goals.” Funding for this grant program is from the Howard County Watershed Protection Fee to support environmental knowledge-building activities and restoration projects through the Outreach and Restoration grant program.
Patapsco Clean Stream – Education and Stewardship Efforts in Ellicott City
Patapsco Heritage Greenway
Award Amount: $25,000
Patapsco Heritage Greenway held 8 watershed cleanups where they removed 5,156 pounds of trash, 7 invasive plant removals in which they removed 6.55 acres and 475 pounds, and planted 40 trees during 1 planting event. During these 17 outreach and stewardship events, they were able to engage and mobilize over 200 volunteers. Additionally, they improved their Stream Watcher program so that new and seasoned Stream Watchers would be able to receive their own “DIY Cleanup Kit”. The “DIY Cleanup Kit” program allowed households to sign up for a kit, which included everything they needed to safely conduct and report a cleanup.
Gardens and Groves Civic Ecology Project Series
Community Ecology Institute
Award Amount: $40,000
The Community Ecology Institute partnered with Columbia Association to plant two rain gardens, two native tree groves, and six pollinator gardens as part of a new conservation landscape project in the open space of each of the ten Columbia Villages, a collection of communities located in Columbia. This project engaged diverse participants from each Village and the surrounding community in the development, creation, and maintenance of each of the planting projects to sustain the direct benefits for watershed and habitat health benefits. Over the course of the planting events and three seasons of maintenance events, participants received experiential education and supporting resources on how to bring such conservation landscapes to their own homes and neighborhoods. Educational signage on the importance of pollinators was installed at each native pollinator garden to educate the public and a future bicycle path is planned to connect all locations to further convey the message.
“The greatest success of this project was the installation of the eight conservation gardens in highly trafficked public areas in one of the densest and most diverse parts of Howard County. Planted with perennials and equipped with educational signage, these gardens will exist as an inspirational education source and ecologically beneficial asset in the community for years to come”- Community Ecology Institute
Community Partnerships for Clean Water
Award Amount: $72,706
Howard EcoWorks (HEW) formalized their outreach and implementation process with the goals of maximizing limited resources; defining a cost share approach and structure; maximizing education to communities before, during and after project implementation; and ensuring long term maintenance of the constructed facilities. The Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth (READY) program, has installed over 100 best management practices in Howard County over the past 6 years. HEW is a non-profit implementation force in Howard County that aims to maximize impact of community-based work.
“The greatest success was replication and delivery of the Soak It Up event...Adding levity and a celebration aspect to the event helps to draw more people, increase exposure for the messages, and provides a more open opportunity for engagement”- Howard EcoWorks
In 2021, the partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Maryland Port Administration (MPA) began to fund projects to help satisfy MDOT MPA’s Critical Area mitigation requirements arising from MDOT MPA’s development activities in the Critical Area.
Stay tuned for project highlights!
In 2019, the partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Queen Anne’s County began with the goal to fund projects that encourage outreach and education, and enhance public awareness about the benefits of restoration through the installation of best management practices. This partnership supports the County’s goal of “improving water quality in the County’s tributaries and to meet the County’s Bay Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) load reductions.” Funding for this grant program is from the Queen Anne’s County Department of Planning and Zoning.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Award Amount: $9,499
Maryland DNR planted 817 native fruit and nut producing trees and shrubs in a “walk and harvest” path at a publicly accessible location in Bloomfield Farm in Queen Anne’s County. Local contractors installed and maintained the planting through mulching, invasive plant control and deer fencing. This project offers numerous ecological co-benefits: enhanced pollinator and bird habitat, as well as carbon sequestration, stormwater absorption and reduced runoff within the Corsica River watershed. Through informational signage and workshops, community residents can learn about edible natives and gain access to locally grown healthy food. This site allows the Maryland Forest Service to introduce the public to the concept of agroforestry and the many edible species that inhabit the state, as well as the undiscovered potential of possible specialty crops for local farmers.
“As these shrubs and trees begin to flower and fruit over the years, the ultimate end goal of our planting endeavor will be realized: a Pick Your Own (PYO) field for visitors to enjoy and learn how to harvest and what to make with each species. Even more important, a one-of-a-kind harvest site will be established for Maryland Food Bank volunteers to supply those less fortunate in our state with diverse new produce packed with health benefits.”- Maryland Department of Natural Resources
By the Numbers
In 2022, the partnership between Chesapeake Bay Trust and Tradepoint Atlantic began to fund projects that improve the health of local waters and communities in Baltimore County and Baltimore City.
Stay tuned for project highlights!