Restoration, Planning and Implementation Grants
The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) annually awards Watershed Association Restoration, Planning and Implementation Grants to locally-based watershed associations and other nonprofit organizations in order to:
- Identify and implement restoration projects and educational activities relating to actions specified in the Small Watershed Action Plan (SWAP) and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plans
- Increase resident participation in County watershed restoration planning and actions that help EPS fulfill its commitments to meet water quality requirements and contribute to the overall health of our local watersheds
- Leverage additional funding for watershed/community association environmental restoration work in Baltimore County
Grant funding of up to $30,000 is available to conduct environmental restoration activities and increase public awareness of environmental stewardship, especially related to water quality of local streams, rivers, reservoirs and the Chesapeake Bay. Awards will be contingent on demonstrated capacity of the organization, quality of application and availability of funds. Applications are due on Friday, February 2, 2024. The term for this grant is Baltimore County Fiscal Year 2025, July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025. (Note: In some cases, grants of more than $30,000 are awarded to established and highly productive organizations. If your organization has been funded through this grant program for at least the past three years, has an exemplary track record of performance and would like to pursue a grant over $30,000, you may request a meeting with EPS staff to discuss.)
In order to be eligible for this grant, an organization must:
- Be a locally-based watershed association or community group with membership in Baltimore County
- Be a registered 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(6) organization in good standing with the State of Maryland
- Have a demonstrated history of successfully identifying and conducting resident-based and community restoration projects
- Have fulfilled all grant requirements on past grants, if previously funded through this grant program
Requests and Use of Funds
The intent of this grant is to foster staffing capacity for ongoing restoration work and watershed education and outreach, thereby promoting long-term partnership with organizations working with the County to enhance the health and sustainability of local waterways and watersheds.
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Grant Manager in advance if there are any questions about whether proposed activities or practices meet the conditions of the grant program.
Examples of projects, activities and best management practices (BMPs) undertaken by organizations typically funded through this grant include:
- Tree plantings/giveaways
- Tree planting maintenance and inspections
- Stormwater BMP design/installation
- Downspout disconnections
- Rain gardens
- Rain barrels
- Stream clean-ups
- Stream Watch programs
- Bayscape landscapes
- Watershed stewardship
- Education and outreach
- Invasive plant species removal
- Storm drain marking
Requests may be fully funded, partially funded or declined. Funding levels will depend on the strength of the application, past success of the applicant, total amount of program funding requested and the amount of funds available.
The grant may be used to provide salary for staff conducting restoration planning and implementation, and watershed education/outreach. The grant does not fund staff hours for accounting or financial management, however these expenses may be included as “indirect costs.” The ratio of hours to dollars must be a minimum of one hour of staff time for every $30 in grant funds requested. For example, if the request is for $30,000, there must be a minimum of 1,000 hours of staff time. (If this is not attainable, provide a detailed explanation.)
An amount up to 30 percent of the salary dollar amount may be used to cover fringe benefits such as health insurance, paid sick leave and paid vacation leave (if these benefits are declared as employee expenses).
An amount up to 10 percent of the salary and fringe request may be used to cover overhead/indirect expenses. These include, but are not limited to:
- Accounting/tax prep
- Financial management with documentation
- Office rent/supplies
In general, equipment is not funded through this grant. However, specific equipment requests may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Schedule a meeting with EPS staff to discuss these requests prior to submitting your application.
The following evaluation criteria will be used to rank applications:
- Degree of connection with the SWAPs, TMDL Implementation Plans and the countywide Trash and Litter Reduction Strategy, as appropriate to the watershed
- Projects planned for the grant term
- Number of BMPs or drainage area treated
- Type and pollution removal efficiency of BMPs
- Community engagement in homeowner or neighborhood BMPs
- Contribution of the BMPs toward meeting the restoration need identified
- Ability to leverage other funding for watershed restoration work in Baltimore County
- Past performance, including:
- Implementation of actions
- Ability to engage residents in actions and volunteer participation
- Leveraging of outside funding for watershed restoration work in Baltimore County
- Cost per pound of pollutant removal
How to Apply
Complete the standard Baltimore County Request for Financial Assistance form. This is a standardized form used for many Baltimore County grant program requests.
Be sure to follow the detailed application instructions below, which provide guidance for each of the application questions, specific to meeting the requirements for this EPS grant program. Incomplete or incorrectly completed applications will be rejected.
Completed and signed applications must be submitted in a single PDF document via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 2, 2024. Incomplete or incorrectly filled out applications will be rejected.
Specific Guidance for Each Question on the Application
- Use organization name for “Applicant Name” field and organization’s address for contact information.
- Check applicable response.
- Use the online district finder tool to find your County Council and State legislative districts.
- Provide your district information found in step 3.
- Answer “See Attachment A.” Please address each of the topics as detailed in the Attachment Instructions section below, and submit as an attachment labeled “Attachment A.”
- The funding request from Baltimore County cannot exceed $30,000 (or commensurate with ability to achieve grant goals) for this grant cycle. You may include other sources of funding that will overlap during the time period, but it is not necessary. If you do, then you must include them as part of the budget table in Attachment B.
- You must include copies of your most recent financial statements. Submit as an attachment labeled “Attachment C.”
- You should include grants that have been awarded and will overlap during the time period.
- Answer “Yes.” This is a good opportunity to promote the long-term commitment of your organization and the needs for restoring our local streams and watersheds.
- Answer “No.” Equipment purchased (if any) with this grant program will be used to improve water quality, not for the improvement or benefit of real property.
- List your current board members.
- Answer “Not Applicable.”
- This answer should include volunteer hours and dollar value.
- Answer “the residents of Baltimore County within” and state your watershed. Please expound and at a minimum state—the implementation of more environmental restoration projects, that this is a benefit to water quality, and also improved stewardship by residents.
- You may answer “EPS,” “word of mouth,” etc.
Question 5, Attachment A Details
1. Organization Eligibility
Clearly state again, that your organization fulfills the following qualifications:
- Is a locally-based watershed association/community organization with active membership in Baltimore County
- Is registered as a 501(c)(3), 501 (c) (4) or 501 (c)(6) organization in good standing with the State of Maryland
- Has a demonstrated history of successfully identifying and conducting resident-based and community restoration projects
- Has fulfilled all grant requirements on past grants, if previously funded through this grant program
2. Restoration Project Goals
Restoration projects must be implemented in Baltimore County. List the types and number of restoration projects that the organization anticipates to complete during the year using the table 3 template. These may include, but are not limited to these project examples.
3. Stream Watch Goals
Indicate that the organization will offer, to the best of your ability, a Stream Watch program within your watershed.
4. Watershed Planning Goals
Indicate that you will be a part of any Baltimore County Watershed Planning steering/implementation committees in your watershed, will work with EPS to identify key leaders in the watershed planning area and will identify actions that the watershed organization will assist in implementing in the future.
5. Link Actions to Watershed Plans
It is essential to link all planned restoration actions to the following plans in effect in your watershed(s):
- Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs)—SWAP Action Table is Appendix A of Volume 1
- Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plans—TMDL Actions are in Section 9
- Trash and Litter Reduction Strategy (Countywide)—For grantees working in areas where a Trash TMDL exists, defer to the TMDL Implementation Plan for trash and litter.
Indicate that you will use these documents to guide and plan implementation projects and list the documents by title and action as shown in the example in table 1. The County will not accept applications lacking this information. In watersheds that have multiple SWAPs, show how a single restoration action connects (potentially) to more than one SWAP/TMDL Implementation Plan. EPS is looking for prioritization and specificity in the watershed association’s approach to implementation. Tell us which neighborhoods, institutions, etc. you will target for future projects.
To connect the Watershed Association’s role in implementation of Baltimore County’s WIP, insert the following sentence (if accurate): "Watershed group XX will help Baltimore County implement their Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan by continuing at our historic pace of restoration or better, as mentioned in section 22.214.171.124 and table 2-12 of the WIP document."
6. Education and Outreach Goals
Discuss particular educational topics and the anticipated activities that you plan to pursue during the year.
7. Capacity Building Goals
Include other grants that you hope to secure. Discuss anticipated increases in membership and volunteers.
In addition to a narrative description for items one through seven above, use the template shown in table 3 to list the number of activities and restoration projects, by quarter, that your organization anticipates completing during the year. These are your goals which will be evaluated for success on a quarterly basis (upon receipt of each quarterly report and invoice) and at the end of the grant year. Changes are permitted upon timely discussion with EPS, and the realization of an opportunity or constraint that was not foreseen at the time of the application. If there are any activities of interest, which are not on this table, discuss with EPS in advance of your application to determine if they are eligible to be funded with this grant.
8. Assist with Inspections of Past Projects
Indicate that you will coordinate with EPS on inspection and verification of past planting projects, rain gardens and other BMPs as per Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) guidelines to maintain pollutant reduction credit for the projects. In addition, indicate that a planting plan will be submitted for all new tree plantings per the tree planting guidance (separate document).
9. Past Year Accomplishments
List your organization’s accomplishments in Baltimore County related to the grant from the previous year, if applicable. Do not include accomplishments outside of Baltimore County.
Budget: Attachment B
Funding will be provided for salaries, fringe and overhead/indirects (as described in Section IV). You must include additional funding sources and how they will be spent, if you added additional funding in question 6 on the grant application form.
Attach a Project Budget table, labeled “Attachment B.” An example is provided in table 4.
Financial Statements: Attachment C
In accordance with question 6a, include the most recent audit, tax return, treasurer’s report or current bank statements for the organization, labeled as "Attachment C."
Checklist of Attachments to Grant Application Form
Clearly label each attachment as specified.
- Attachment A—Question 5 (to include tables: “Linking Actions to Watershed Plans” and “Restoration Projects Planned”)
- Attachment B—Budget
- Attachment C—Financials
Your completed application, including all attachments, must be saved as a single PDF document. The following documents must be submitted as part of your application, and attachments should be clearly labeled as specified:
- Request for Financial Assistance Form—The application must be signed by the President of the Board of Directors or the President/Executive Director of the organization.
- Attachment A—As detailed in the Application Instructions section
- Attachment B—Budget
- Attachment C—Financial statements, including your organization’s most recent audit, tax return, treasurer’s report or current bank statements
Submission of Grant Materials
Applications must be received via email by Friday, February 2, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. Email the completed/signed application as a single PDF document to Erin Watts at email@example.com.
The application must be signed by the President of the Board of Directors or the President/Executive Director of the organization.
Review and Approval
Upon County agency review and approvals, all applicants will be notified of their status in March 2024.