2024 IRA Urban Forestry Grants and Software

Key details on state IRA grants and the role of urban forestry software

May 20, 2024 |  Alec Sabatini

2024 IRA Urban Forestry Grants and Software

In 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act bestowed an unprecedented $1.5 billion to the US Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry program to support tree planting and urban forest management in disadvantaged communities. These funds are being distributed across the country through direct grants, pass-through partner grants, and state grant programs.

These transformative funds are available for local governments, Tribal Nations, nonprofits, and sometimes school districts. This blog lists the state grant programs currently accepting applications, key details of the application process, and how urban forestry software can strengthen grant applications and support projects.

IRA Urban Forestry Grant Opportunities by State

Here are state programs currently accepting Urban and Community Forestry IRA Grants. We’ll update this list as grant windows open and close. Last updated 6/4/24:

  • Delaware – Deadline 6/14/24
  • Indiana – Deadline 7/12/24
  • Colorado – Deadline 7/31/24
  • Georgia – Deadline 7/31/24
  • Oregon – Deadline for Federally Recognized Tribes grant 6/30/24. All entities grant application window opens 7/1/24.
  • Maryland – Applications open 7/1/24
  • New Mexico – Rolling deadline
  • North Carolina – Grant details upcoming

Many states set IRA urban forestry grant deadlines in the first quarter of 2024. Some states, such as Michigan and Minnesota, conducted grant applications in the fall of 2023, so we’ll update this blog as they release details about this year’s opportunities.

For additional national and state urban forest grant opportunities, check out our grant resources page.

IRA Urban Forestry Grant Opportunities by State

Key IRA Urban Forestry Grant Details

Every state has developed unique grant requirements, but a couple of details are consistent nationwide.

 

No Match Requirements

To make it easier for communities and organizations to access these grants all match requirements are waived, contingent on the project delivering 100% of benefits to disadvantaged communities. This is an incredible opportunity to expand urban forestry benefits to the communities most in need.

Qualifying Communities

Each state provided a list of suggested mapping tools applicants can use to show, at the census tract level, how projects benefit disadvantaged communities. All states are accepting the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), a nationwide mapping tool of overburdened and underserved neighborhoods.

PlanIT Geo™ is developing a new add-on for TreePlotter™ INVENTORY to show CEJST disadvantaged community boundaries along with urban tree canopy statistics. This layer will launch in the next few months, allowing users to view and filter trees plotted within disadvantaged census tracts.

Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), a nationwide mapping tool of overburdened and underserved neighborhoods

 

Grant Projects and Software

Though there’s a range of acceptable project types across the country, they fall into a few common buckets, which we’ll spotlight below. We’ll also detail how tree management software and canopy analysis software provides invaluable support for certain project types.

First, we should address a misconception that software is not an eligible expense under IRA grants. This is false. Software is not considered equipment and is not subject to the $5,000 unit expenditure cap. Depending on the delivery, grantees can show software acquisition as a supply or contractual cost.

 

Tree Planting and Maintenance

Tree planting projects will make up a major portion of this funding. Some states, like Massachusetts, require every project to result in tree planting. Tree planting projects come with a variety of reporting requirements, ranging in detail. California requires address, ownership type, latitude and longitude, census tract, date planted, type of growing space, and more for each tree planted.

Tree management software makes tracking and organizing this information a breeze. With TreePlotter INVENTORY, you can customize data fields to align exactly with grant requirements, keeping all necessary data at your fingertips come reporting time. Similarly, the grant guidelines often require tree maintenance to be tracked. INVENTORY’s work records features make it easy to log tree maintenance completed in the field and compile a full work history for reports.

Plotting tree locations using software also keeps your work neatly organized on a map. Working visually ensures efforts stay laser-focused on the census tracts most in need.

Urban Tree Canopy Mapping with TreePlotter CANOPY

Urban Tree Canopy Mapping

The data sets used by the CEJST tool to identify disadvantaged communities include only one metric related to urban forestry, lack of greenspace, and it’s derived from 30-meter resolution imagery. These grants are a perfect opportunity to obtain high resolution (60-centimeter) urban tree canopy data and analysis software.

These grants are a perfect opportunity to obtain urban tree canopy data and analysis software. With a tool like TreePlotter™ CANOPY, you can overlay tree canopy and other land cover data with socioeconomic information to precisely identify where your organization should focus its efforts.

With CANOPY you can establish a clear urban forest baseline and track canopy growth and loss every couple of years as new imagery becomes available. CANOPY allows your organization to see the available planting space within the community, and then filter based on low existing tree canopy, underserved populations, and other metrics to build carefully prioritized planting plans.

Urban tree canopy data is a powerful storytelling tool for earning additional funding beyond the IRA urban forestry grants. An urban tree canopy assessment can tell a compelling visual story of the urban forest. Having maps and data documenting how tree cover is changing and distributed across a city moves conversations into a discussion of reality instead of hypotheticals.

Tree Inventories

Tree management software is a must for organizations interested in conducting or updating a tree inventory. It is necessary for collecting the inventory data in the field, but the real advantage is leveraging that data once it’s collected.

TreePlotter INVENTORY has a suite of functions designed to help organizations turn inventory data into action. Answer important questions in just a couple of clicks with the Advanced Filter. Design prioritized maintenance and removal plans based on condition and location data. Streamline reporting with responsive charts and graphics built right into the application.

Tree Inventory with PlanIT Geo and TreePlotter

Community Engagement

Many grant guidelines require a plan to engage and educate residents in communities receiving funding. A good place to start is a digital resource you can point people to when they get curious about the freshly planted trees on their streets and parks.

An interactive, online tree map gives residents a navigable, visual display of where trees are in their community, and with one click they can access information like species, size, and ecosystem benefits. For example, Charlotte, North Carolina shares their TreePlotter application with the public and invites them to upload their trees. Organizations can also use a Community Engagement Map to offer a simplified, public-facing view of their urban tree inventory.

Don’t Miss This Chance

These grants, with no match requirement, are a low-barrier jumpstart for organizations to significantly amplify their impact on disadvantaged communities.

Planning and tracking projects at the census tract level are essential for this grant. Tree management and canopy analysis software allows you to track exactly where your grant dollars are going and measure their impact. We’d be happy to have a conversation specific to your community and grant application. Please reach out with any questions about how software, a tree inventory, canopy assessment, or management planning could support your project.

Related Resources

Mapping the 3-30-300 rule for urban forestry on demand webinar from PlanIT Geo

Mapping the 3-30-300 Rule for Actionable City Greening

In this ON DEMAND webinar, Cecil Konijnendijk and Joost Verhagen discussed the 3-30-300 rule, a new rule of thumb for urban greening. Cecil and Joost explore how urban greening benchmarks are evolving, including urban forest quality indicators, better integration of social and health benefits, and a greater focus on crown volume.

How To Turn Tree Canopy Data Into Effective Tree Policy

From Canopy to Policy Free Guide

Urban tree canopy assessments have experienced major innovations over the last few years and canopy data is more accessible than ever before. Now that canopy data is abundant, how can we translate that information into inclusive and effective policies for equitable urban forestry? We developed this guide to answer that question.

Urban forestry grant resource links USA

Urban Forestry Grant Resources

Looking for urban forestry funding? You’ve come to the right place. Scroll down to look through our continuously updated list of urban forest grant opportunities, organized by region and state.

Tailoring TreePlotter to Meet Your Urban Greening Goals ON Demand Webinar from PlanIT Geo

Tailoring TreePlotter to Meet Your Urban Greening Goals

Software tools are designed for many but not all purchases are made for the same reasons, and TreePlotter users are no different. While many clients have similar needs and desires for their urban forestry program, we know there is not one way to reach those goals. Learn about real-life, unique case examples of how TreePlotter software is being used by clients around the United States to help map and manage urban forests and meet community greening goals.

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Stay Up To Date With The Latest News and Events

 

Join Our Newsletter

Stay informed on the urban forestry industry with our monthly TREEbune newsletter, live webinars, and industry-specific content delivered to your inbox.

Urban Forestry Webinars

PlanIT Geo has a substantial on-demand webinar library. Get CEU credits, grow your knowledge base, and stay current on cutting edge industry technology.

Follow Us

We love to share industry-related news, software tutorials, blogs, and company news across our social channels.