Community Forestry Catalyst Fund

The Community Forestry Catalyst Fund (“CF2”) welcomes proposals that directly support tree planting projects or increase the capacity of organizations to scale up their tree planting and maintenance initiatives in overburdened, underserved communities across the state. The goal of the CF2 program is to reduce barriers to tree planting and provide local partners with flexible access to a source of funds that can be leveraged to secure additional resources without requiring matching funds.

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is made possible by Inflation Reduction Action Urban and Community Forestry funding from the USDA Forest Service.​



Applications for Cohort 2 will open July 1st, 2024, and close September 1st 2024​​​


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What projects are eligible for CF2 awards?

Projects selected for funding must directly or indirectly result in trees being planted in overburdened, underserved communities across the state. To determine if your project is located within, ​or serves, applicable disadvantaged communities it must be identified in the Inflation Reduction Act Disadvantaged Communities Map, available in the toolbar.

100 percent of work must take place in, or benefit, disadvantaged communities and, therefore, match is waived. This match waiver must be passed on to any sub-awardees. ​

Applications may be submitted under Tracks A & B together, but applications under Track C may not be combined with another Track.​

  • Track A: Site Readiness. Example activities include, but are not limited to: stump removal, hazardous tree removal, vegetation removal, concrete removal leading to replacement tree planting.
  • Track B: Implementation. Tree planting projects require pre-application technical assistance from the Maryland Forest Service or an authorized representative from one of the 5 Million Trees for Maryland partnership agencies. Please see the Notice of Funding Opportunity​ in the sidebar for more information about project eligibility.
  • Track C: Capacity Building. Example activities include, but are not limited to: staff or contractual support, workforce development, expansion or creation of new pilot programming.

How much can be awarded?

The Maryland Forest Service welcomes proposals spanning a broad range of costs from eligible entities working at a community, municipal, regional, and watershed scales. The minimum and maximum funding amount for projects are listed below, by track:

  • Track A: minimum: $5,000 / maximum: $50,000
  • Track B: minimum: $5,000 / maximum: $50,000
  • Track C: minimum: $5,000 / maximum: $250,000 per year

Who is eligible to apply?

Entities eligible to apply include:

  • Local government entity
  • Federally Recognized Tribes and Tribal organizations as defined in 25 USC 5304 (l) and operating within the United States, or its territories
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education
  • Community Based Organization, defined as a public organization that supports and/or represents a community and/or certain populations within a community through engagement, education, and other related services provided to individual community residents and community stakeholders

Grant Application Process:

Grant applications are all submitted through an online system. If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact Community Forestry Coordinator, Jordan Brown at

Special Events:


CF2 Informational Session
Thursday, February 15 · 12:00 – 1:00pm