Posts Tagged ‘ grants ’

Money Available for Climate Showcase Communities Grants

Here is another excellent opportunity for you to take your community to the next level of sustainability.  The EPA recently announced that it will be awarding up to $10 million for Climate Showcase Communities Grants.  These local government grants are targeted for implementing climate change initiatives.

 The types of activities that the EPA will fund include solid waste management; energy performance in municipal operations; land use, transportation or community master planning; reduction of vehicle miles travelled; energy performance in residential, commercial, agricultural, aqua cultural or industrial buildings; use or supply of green power products and renewables; natural resource management; removal of barriers for greenhouse gas (GHG)management; heat island management; and other innovative GHG reduction activities.

 The goals of the program are several.  First, the EPA is funding local government projects that reduce GHG emissions and can be replicated elsewhere.  Second, the GHG reductions must be permanent.  Third, projects should foster collaborative partnerships and emphasize the benefits of climate action.  Finally, the benefits of the projects must be showcased.

 This is the second offering of the Climate Showcase Communities Grants, following up on a successful initial program that awarded grants to 25 local governments across the United States.  Round two is funded at $10 million.  The EPA anticipates awarding grants to 20-30 communities, in amounts ranging from $100,000 to $500,000. 

 Local governments must provide a 50% match to the grants.  That means that if you request a $100,000 grant, you must provide a match of $50,000.  The match can be cash or in-kind services, such as staff time or equipment.

 This is a highly competitive grant program.  In round one, there were 444 applications.  Twenty-five were funded.  Here are some tips to make your application stand out.

  •  Read the RFP carefully.  It is located at http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase  Make sure your strategy addresses its requirements.  This is an implementation grant, not a planning grant, although a plan that will be implemented within the three year program requirement may be considered.
  • Show clearly how you are going to measure your GHG reductions.
  • Plan to showcase your project.  Come up with innovative ways to publicize your project.  Consider using social media, incorporating photos and videos.
  • Design a project that can and will be replicated.  Consider preparing a guidebook and lessons learned documents.
  • Be creative to make your project stand out.  Consider innovative ways to use existing technology, target an under-represented sector of the population or establish new partnerships.
  • Innovate, innovate, and innovate some more.

 The EPA will want to see how your project fits into a broader framework, such as a sustainability or climate change plan.  If your community doesn’t have a plan, now is the time to prepare one—and be prepared in case there is a round three of Climate Communities Grants. 

As is now standard, all applications must be submitted through http://www.grants.gov .  If you haven’t registered on that site, do it now because it can take 7­-10 days for new accounts to be processed.  Applications for Climate Community grants are due on July 26.  Get innovative, get creative and get your application submitted.