State or Federal?
Signed into law on September 14, 2016, SB 859 (Chapter 368, Statutes of 2016) created the California Natural Resources Agency’s (Agency) Urban Greening Program, funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) to support the development of green infrastructure projects that reduce GHG emissions and provide multiple benefits.

Consistent with AB 32, the Urban Greening Program will fund projects that reduce greenhouse gases by sequestering carbon, decreasing energy consumption and reducing vehicle miles traveled, while also transforming the built environment into places that are more sustainable, enjoyable, and effective in creating healthy and vibrant communities. These projects will establish and enhance parks and open space, using natural solutions to improving air and water quality and reducing energy consumption, and creating more walkable and bike-able trails.
Eligible Entities
Local Public Agencies, Nonprofit Organizations
Eligibility Notes
Grant Funds will be awarded to a city, county, special district, nonprofit organization, or an agency or entity formed pursuant to the Joint Exercise of Powers Act (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of Title 1) if at least one of the parties to the joint powers agreement qualifies as an eligible applicant, notwithstanding the Joint Exercise of Powers Act.

Eligible urban greening projects will reduce GHG emissions and provide multiple additional benefits, including, but not limited to, a decrease in air and water pollution or a reduction in the consumption of natural resources and energy. Eligible projects will result in the conversion of an existing built environment into green space that uses natural and green infrastructure approaches to create sustainable and vibrant communities.

All eligible projects must result in GHG reductions by including at least one of the following activities:
- Sequester and store carbon by planting trees
- Reduce building energy use by strategically planting trees to shade buildings
- Reduce commute vehicle miles traveled by constructing bicycle paths, bicycle lanes or pedestrian facilities that provide safe routes for travel between residences, workplaces, commercial centers, and schools.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, SB 859 requires all projects to achieve measurable benefits. Per statute, all projects must do at least one of the following:
- Acquire, create, enhance, or expand community parks and green spaces, and/or
- Use natural systems or systems that mimic natural systems to achieve multiple benefits.
Most Recent/Current Due Date
Apr 11, 2018
Due Date Notes
Applicants are encouraged to submit a one-page concept proposal. Though not required, this process will help the applicant determine if the project is a good fit for the grant program before completing a full application. The proposal should be concise to give reviewers a snapshot of the project. In depth explanations may be provided later in the actual application. To be reviewed, the one-page concept proposal must be submitted to no later than February 26, 2018. Feedback will be provided generally within 1-2 weeks.
Annual or Multi-Year?
Preliminary Items
Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of the eight technical workshops. Each workshop will include a formal presentation and breakout sessions designed to provide help and guidance in preparing grant applications. Information on the dates, times, and locations of the workshops and how to RSVP for a workshop can be found here:

Match Required?
Match Notes
Match funds are not required for this program. However, projects that leverage other sources of funds may be more competitive.
California Natural Resources Agency
Total Amount Available for All Grants
Competition Notes
For this program, projects located within and benefiting a disadvantaged community will be the most competitive. A competitive project will maximize opportunities to reduce GHG emissions through project design and implementation, and will incorporate green infrastructure solutions that improve the sustainability and function of existing urban hardscapes and landscapes.

A minimum of 75% of the available funds will be awarded to projects located within and benefitting disadvantaged and low-income communities. The term “disadvantaged” refers to CalEnviroScreen 3.0 and “low-income” refers to 80 percent below median statewide income.

Additional points will be given to projects that meet two of the following:
1. Provides park or recreational benefits to a critically underserved community or disadvantaged community.
2. Proposed by a critically underserved community or disadvantaged community.
3. Develops partnerships with local community organizations and businesses in order to strengthen outreach to disadvantaged communities, provides access to quality jobs for residents of disadvantaged communities, or provides access to workforce education and training.
4. Uses interagency cooperation and integration.
5. Uses existing public lands and facilitates the use of public resources and investments, including schools
Further Information

Link to Further Information
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