Roots for Rivers

The Watershed Institute is pleased to announce that we will be partnering with The Nature Conservancy, together in collaboration with Sustainable Jersey, on this year’s Roots for Rivers Reforestation Grant and Technical Assistance Program.

This program provides grants between $1,000 and $20,000 to support efforts to undertake floodplain reforestation initiatives. Program participants also receive technical assistance with designing their restoration projects. Eligible entities include nonprofit organizations, conservation groups, government agencies, municipalities, and school districts. Submissions by private individuals, as well as project sites on private land, are not eligible for funds. Eligible expenses include trees and shrubs, tubes and stakes, and up to two delivery fees.

Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was held on October 16, 2019 and addressed why floodplain reforestation is important and what is involved; how to select an appropriate site and develop a project plan; the technical assistance and funding available; and how to apply to be part of the program. View the webinar under ‘Grants Program’ at Sustainable Jersey’s Webinar page at the link below.

>> view the recorded WEBINAR HERE <<

Application Information

Eligibility requirements to participate in this program through The Watershed Institute include:

  • Applicant must be a New Jersey county or state government agency; a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization; or a conservation group *
  • Project work must be conducted in New Jersey
  • Project site must be located within an Ecological Floodplain Area (EFA). Use the Water Conservation Blueprint Map to determine if your site falls within an EFA
  • Submissions by private individuals, as well as project sites on private land, are not eligible for funds

* Applicants representing municipalities and school districts should apply via Sustainable Jersey.

Grant Program Dates

Application Deadline | Dec. 13, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.
Recipient Announcement | Jan. 24, 2020
Project Completion | July 1, 2020
Final Reports Due| July 31, 2020

Application Portal

Carefully review the 2019-2020 Application Information Package for Nonprofits before you begin your application. Prepare your application in a separate document prior to beginning the online web application form. You will not be able to save incomplete applications in the web form. You can review the full list of application questions in Section F of the Grant Information Package.


PLEASE NOTE: This application form is only for nonprofit organizations, conservation groups, and government agencies.

Municipal and school district applicants should apply via Sustainable Jersey. For more information regarding Sustainable Jersey’s application process, please contact Kaitlyn Vollmer, Sustainable Jersey Grants Coordinator, at [email protected] or call (609) 771-3189.

Use of Grant Funds


  • Native woody plants materials (trees and shrubs) that only include bare root stock, tublings, 1-gallon and/or 2-gallon containers
  • Tubes and support stakes to protect the plantings (deer fences and protection against weeds/invasive species are not covered by this grant)
  • Up to two delivery fees associated with transportation of project materials


  • Other supplies (gloves, shovels, fencing, weed mats, etc.), equipment (mower, auger, etc.) and/or labor (or contractor) costs associated with project implementation
  • Invasive, non-native species removal is not required, but it is encouraged if necessary for project success. Costs associated with this process will also be the financial responsibility of the applicant.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be screened using the following criteria:

  • Project site is located within an Ecological Floodplain Area
  • Project budget is within the allowable grant amount ($1,000 – $20,000), grant funds are only being requested for eligible expenses (trees/shrubs, tree tubes, stakes), and the average cost per plant (including tube and stake) is $12 or less. Other funding sources, in-kind contributions, and donations are identified (if applicable).
  • Accuracy and completeness of project tracking and location table (defined acreage of planting area, linear feet of stream to be planted, etc.). Map and photos of site are used to enhance reviewers’ understanding of project.
  • Relative impact of the proposed project on restoring floodplains and protecting water resources.
  • Likelihood of success as demonstrated by the strength of the project team and action plan.

The Roots for Rivers Reforestation Grant and Technical Assistance Program is funded by The Nature Conservancy as part of their ongoing efforts to plant 100,000 trees in New Jersey by 2020.

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