Grants and Funding

These grant opportunities are available to groups and communities for community tree planting and green space enhancement in Nebraska. Grant opportunities are organized by availability: 

For a listing of resources for conservation tree planting, click here.

Check back often—additional funding opportunities will be posted as they become available. To receive an email notice when grant funds become available, click here. (grant opportunities last updated 7/10/2012)


Free Trees for Fall Planting- Celebrating ReTree Week

The purpose Free Trees for Fall Planting sponsored by the Nebraska Community Forestry Council (NCFC) and ReTree Nebraska and funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust which is beneficiary of the Nebraska Lottery is to help enable the planting of trees during the fall  in conjunction with ReTree Nebraska Week and other fall planting events. ReTree Nebraska week is the last full week of September but trees can be planted between September 1st, through November 15. The recipient's event will be considered a ReTree Nebraska event.

• Celebrate trees and promote the value of healthy trees for a healthy community.
• Plant at least 200 high quality trees in Nebraska communities in conjunction with a tree-related educational event or community celebration to promote fall planting targeted between Sept. 1- Nov. 15.
• Award tree advocates 1-10 trees by giving priority to ReTree Nebraska ambassadors, Tree City USA tree boards, Tree Campus USA schools, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum curators, individuals volunteering/supporting community forestry programs and Project Learning Tree facilitators.
• Assist volunteers and non-profit partners such as business improvement districts, neighborhood associations, government agencies, and other public or private entities with tree planting in public spaces and areas of civic importance.
• Promote the healthy establishment and ongoing care of newly-planted trees.
• Diversify the community forest by promoting a broader diversity of native and well-adapted non-native tree species recommended by ReTree Nebraska. A special emphasis will be placed on the planting of ReTree Nebraska's 13 for 2013 underutilized trees species.
• Provide educational opportunities for people to learn more about trees and their proper selection, planting and care.

To download the application, go here.

TNT is funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust (a beneficiary of the Nebraska Lottery) as part of the ReTree Nebraska Initiative. The program is coordinated by the Nebraska Forest Service (NFS) on behalf of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, Inc. (NSA).

Landscape Funding Available to Communities

Applications for projects to improve community landscapes throughout the state are being accepted by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. Funding is provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, a beneficiary of the Nebraska Lottery.

The "Greener Nebraska Towns" cost-share program aims at collaborative efforts by communities, individuals and organizations for healthier, more beautiful and more sustainable public landscapes. The projects will use native and waterwise plants to better manage resources like water, soil, habitat, energy and waste. Besides showcasing sustainable plants and practices, partners will also take an active role in involving the whole community, communicating their efforts and hosting educational events as the projects develop.

Focus areas include:

1. Sustainable Schoolyards

2. Trees for Nebraska Towns

3. Waterwise Landscapes

4. Native Plants for Pollinators
Funding for these projects ranges from a maximum of $25,000 to a minimum of $1,000. A 50 percent cost-share funding match is required for all projects, which can include donated and in-kind goods and services and volunteer labor. At least 70 percent of cost-share funds must be devoted to plant material and the site preparation and supplies necessary for plant survival. Up to 30 percent of cost-share funds can go toward project design, hardscape material and educational signage (traditional lawns and irrigation, equipment purchases, property, rock mulches or plastic edging and weed barriers are not eligible for reimbursement).

Applications will be accepted quarterly, with the first deadlines on July 21 and October 1 of 2016. The form is online at For more information, email Greener Nebraska Towns Program Coordinator Rachel Anderson at<>.

*The application is also available online at:



Natural Resource District (NRD) community forestry assistance programs

Locate your local NRD's Web site or contact them to find community forestry assistance programs available in your community by clicking here.

(Omaha) Neighborhood Grant Program

Mutual of Omaha is accepting applications from local neighborhood associations for up to $5,000 in grants as part of the company's Neighborhood Grant Program.

Eligible neighborhood associations are invited to apply for grants to fund projects that strengthen resident participation and promote neighborhood development within one of the following categories: beautification and identity; crime prevention and safety; education; health and wellness; parks and recreation; and restoration.

All neighborhood organizations listed in the City of Omaha's Neighborhood
Application available February 1 - March 31.

(Omaha) Men's Garden Club of Omaha SeedGrants

Awarded annually. Grant application deadline: March.


Shade Structure Grant Program

To assist organizations in creating sun-safe outdoor areas, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has announced the availability of grant applications for its Shade Structure Program. Any U.S. nonprofit organization or educational institution may apply for permanent shade structures for outdoor areas not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools, and eating areas.

Home Depot Building Healthy Communities Grant Program
Grants, up to $2,500, are now available to registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, public schools or tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. who are using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community. Grants are made in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase or tools or materials.

Grants are for community improvement projects that include activities such as construction or refurbishment of affordable or transitional housing; building, rebuilding, painting, refurbishing, and/or improving energy efficiency and sustainability; and landscaping, planting of native trees, community facility improvements, and the development and/or improvement of green spaces. Grant cycles: January 15-March 1; May 15-July 1; and September 15-November 1.

Outdoor Classroom Grant Program
Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, International Paper, and National Geographic Explorer! classroom magazine have partnered to create an outdoor classroom grant. The goal is to provide schools with additional resources to improve their science curriculum by engaging students in hands-on experiences outside the traditional classroom. All K–12 public schools in the United States are welcome to apply.

Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards
The Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards recognize nonprofit organizations that are committed to improving their local environment by planting trees, bushes and shrubs to make their communities a better place to live. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $2,500 gift, the First place winner will receive a $1,500 gift certificate and the second place winner will receive a $1,000 gift certificate. The gift certificates can be used to purchase trees, fruit trees, bushes and shrubs, perennials and vegetable seeds. Application deadline April 1, 2010.

Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award
The Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award is awarded annually by the National Environmental Education Foundation to an outstanding educator who has successfully integrated environmental education into his or her daily education programs. The award is given to a 5-12 grade educator who can serve as an inspiration and model for others. A $5,000 cash award is provided for the recipient to continue his or her work in environmental education. Application deadline January 15, 2010.

Planet Connect Grants and Awards
Going green can earn you green. Browse opportunities to earn some green (money, that is!) through competitions, prizes, scholarships and grants.
Various grant deadlines.

Captain Planet Foundation
Committed to supporting hands-on environmental projects for young people, the foundation provides grants from $250 to $2,500 to school and community groups. Grant deadlines March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.


Click here for a listing of cost-share programs for conservation tree planting in Nebraska.