CalFire releases Green Schoolyards grant guidelines for nonprofit childcare facilities

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Urban and Community Forestry Program announced the opening of the 2023 Green Schoolyards Grant solicitation for nonprofit childcare facilities. An historic $30 million will be available specifically for implementing Green Schoolyard projects at nonprofit childcare facilities receiving government funding which includes state- funded/public childcare facilities. The funding is available to help lessen the impacts of climate change and provide nature-based solutions for the next generation.

Green Schoolyards grant projects include the planting of trees and other vegetation, converting pavement to green spaces, and other activities at California nonprofit childcare facilities to help alleviate extreme heat, improve the immediate environment for students, and improve accessibility to nature and nature-based learning for the youngest population in the state.

Projects are also intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the functionality of urban forests, arrest the decline of urban forest resources, address climate change resilience, improve the quality of the environment in urban areas, and optimize co-benefits to children and surrounding urban residents.

Focus is on childcare facilities in and/or serving disadvantaged communities in urban areas. Eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations, cities, counties, and districts but projects must be at nonprofit child care facilities.

“This $30 million in Green Schoolyards Grant funding for nonprofit childcare facilities demonstrates CalFire’s continued support for schoolyard greening projects for traditionally underserved communities,” said State Urban Forester, Walter Passmore. “Trees and greening at childcare facilities provide shelter from extreme heat and the impacts of climate change, as well as access to nature-based learning that is often not readily accessible in urban settings.”

The Schoolyard Greening application portal is open now with an application deadline of Dec. 1. The CalFire Urban and Community Forestry Program offered a grant webinar at the end of September to help interested entities better understand the grant opportunity and navigate the application process. A recording of the webinar can be found here.

More information can be found on the Urban and Community Grants Program page.

This $30 million in grant solicitation compliments the more than $100 million in Green Schoolyard Grant funding that was made available by CalFire in March of this year. This unprecedented level of investment in schoolyard and childcare facility greening has been made available to traditionally underserved communities throughout the state to help lessen the impacts of climate change and provide nature-based solutions where California’s next generation often needs it most.

To get the latest information about the Urban and Community Forestry program, subscribe to receive email updates here.