Don’t You Forget About Me

By Chuck Mills, Director, Public Policy & Grantsblog_simplemindsI know what you’re thinking. How appropriate it is that Chuck obliquely references Simple Minds in his blog’s title. Shouldn’t all of his musings have some dim connotation?


But let’s see if you re-think that position after I clarify what I’m really referencing from the onset of this piece.

Remember way back in March 2015 when California ReLeaf awarded the last of its sub-grant funds for small Arbor Week projects, and a handful of social equity tree-planting grants? Those 15 projects represented the last of what California ReLeaf held in the sub-grants coffer. Our best chance for keeping this program alive in 2015 and beyond were the two proposals we submitted to CAL FIRE for sub-grant programs that would reduce GHGs and benefit disadvantaged communities through urban forestry. Well, much to our delight, we joined 14 of California ReLeaf’s Network members in celebration of CAL FIRE’s awards announcement last week and their decision to fund both of our proposals.

So when I say “don’t you forget about me,” what I mean is “don’t forget about California ReLeaf and the nearly one million dollars we have to provide sub-grants to urban forestry non-profits and community groups over the next several months.” And suddenly everyone recalls: “Hey, that was a pretty good tune.”

You read it right. Not since 2009 has California ReLeaf had the opportunity to distribute so much money to those groups on the ground that are keeping our golden state green through tree-planting and other green infrastructure activities. Details on our two sub-grant programs will become available in the weeks ahead, but what we can say now is this:

  • All grants must reduce GHGs
  • All grants must include a tree-planting component
  • All projects must either be located in a DAC or provide benefit to a DAC
  • 20-35 grants will be awarded for tree-planting and other green infrastructure projects including community gardens and urban orchards
  • All projects will need to be sensitive to California’s continuing drought

Once grant guidelines have been fully developed, California ReLeaf will be posting additional information on our website under “Grants.”

In the meantime, we’re just happy to report that our sub-grants program is, in fact, “Alive and Kicking.”


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