Spreading the Canopy Grants

Deadline: February 28, 2014

Grant funding and guidance is available to connect trees to health and well-being. Applications are being accepted to help urban and community forestry organizations open the lines of communication to the health and wellness sectors about how trees encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle and improve community wellness.

The goal of the grant program is to increase community health by spotlighting how trees and green space encourage people to get outside to exercise and mentally recharge. Three organizations from across the country will be selected to receive a $10,000 grant, a set of guidelines, and some limited technical support to achieve the goals of the program.

Poor health due to stress, obesity, and chronic diseases has reached epidemic levels in communities across the country. The consequences are higher medical costs and lower quality of life for many Americans. Active living, eating right, reduced stress levels, and social connections are key strategies to improve health and happiness. A large body of research shows that everyday experiences of nearby nature in a community help people be healthier in both mind and body. Yet many public health and medical officials may not know about the evidence linking trees, parks, and open space to improved human well-being.

Trees Forever invites your organization to apply to the Spreading the Canopy program for a matching grant to open the lines of communication among the urban forestry and health and wellness sectors. Your project should focus on people and organizations that have the potential to make a significant impact on public health through their policies, programs, and direct interactions with the public. Using research evidence and innovative outreach, you will highlight how trees and green space can encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle and generally improve community wellness.


  • Create a process for urban forestry leaders to engage and collaborate with professionals in the public health arena, including the insurance industry, hospitals, municipal and state governments, private business and the wellness community.
  • Establish or deepen the connection across multi-disciplinary groups (example: through the establishment of a working collaborative).
  • Disseminate research and knowledge on the benefits of trees and the community forest to the public health community.
  • Conduct a signature event(s) with information garnered during the research phase. For example:

– Host an informational conference inviting public health officials, planners, etc.
– Present at conferences aimed at public health and well-being professionals throughout the project.
– Hold walking audits or community tours focusing on the connection between trees, green space,
and health.
– Develop and install a demonstration project with input from the public health community.

Funding available
A $10,000 grant will be made available to your organization to achieve the goals listed above. A one-to-one match is required and can be met through cash or in-kind support.

All 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to non-profit organizations that are members of the Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees).

For more information and to apply, go to http://www.treesforever.org/Canopy