Chartered by Congress, the National Forest Foundation engages Americans in national and community-based programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the hundred-and-ninety-three-million-acre National Forest System and administers private gifts for the benefit of national forests.
In support of that mission, the NFF Matching Awards Program (MAP) provides funding for results-oriented on-the-ground projects that enhance forest health and outdoor experiences in national forests and grasslands.
Two focus areas have been identified through this funding opportunity:
Outdoor Experiences — Projects in this category should generate tangible conservation outcomes and/or enhance quality recreational experiences for users of the national forest system and improve or maintain recreation resource connectivity, including (or similar to) trail maintenance, bridge and crossing construction or repair, and installation of trail drainage structures; engage youth, volunteers, or diverse underserved or under-engaged populations in hands-on stewardship activities; and/or employ youth and/or veterans crews in on-the-ground conservation, stewardship, and/or restoration work.
Forest Health — Projects in this category should be consistent with or supportive of identified large-scale conservation initiatives and promote ecosystem structure, function, and diversity; and or/ promote forest health through the removal or control of non-native invasive species and/or reintroduction of native plants and trees.
Organizations may self-select into one of the two areas but are highly encouraged to submit a proposal that cohesively integrates the two. Examples of integrated projects include engaging community volunteers in riparian plantings as part of a watershed-scale restoration project, or utilizing youth crews from underserved communities to complete habitat stewardship work and forest stand treatments.
The MAP opportunity requires that projects show a strong commitment to civic engagement and community involvement through direct public participation, though it is not necessary for the community-engagement piece to occur in the portion of the project receiving MAP funding.
A non-federal, project-direct 1:1 match is required. The average award given through this opportunity in 2018 was $25,032.
Eligible applicants include nonprofits with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, universities, and Native American tribes. Organizations may also use an eligible fiscal sponsor.
NFF will hold an informational webinar detailing the program on May 13, 2019.
See the National Forest Foundation website for complete program guidelines, application instructions, and to register for the webinar.