Volunteers at National Public Lands Day 2015 at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

NEEF Restoration and Resilience Grant Announcement

Support response efforts to disaster recovery on public lands, while continuing to promote the resilience and importance of public lands in today's society.

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), with major funding support from Toyota Motor North America, is offering $200,000 in grants to support response efforts on public lands that have recently been impacted by natural disasters. Awarded grantees will be expected to expand on current efforts to help restore public lands and implement ways to make those lands more resilient to future disasters. These activities will be accomplished by mobilizing community volunteers and educating participants about the importance of their actions and their relationship to long-term sustainability of the lands.


Every day natural disasters, extreme weather, human activities, and a host of other factors take their toll on our public lands and spaces, threatening the health and wellbeing of people and communities as well as the resiliency and sustainability of the lands. 

NEEF has a history of partnering with public lands and spaces to ensure their sustainability and integrity for the public and surrounding communities. 2018 marks the 25th Annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD), which provides a perfect milestone for engaging the general public in a deeper understanding of the tremendous restoration and resilience efforts taking place on public lands and spaces across the country.

This enduring support and commitment to public lands, year after year, inspired NEEF to focus NPLD 2018 on resilience and restoration. Our natural resources are resilient, but only if we treat them right and give them the care they need. Through volunteer service on NPLD as well as grant support to local organizations, NEEF helps ensure people of all ages and abilities connect with public lands for recreation, hands-on learning, and community-building—now and in the future. 

Public lands do not exist in silos. What happens to them also happens in neighboring communities. Certain sustainability practices needed to build resilience in our public lands can also be applied to lands bordering those same public lands. Implementing these practices will not only benefit vulnerable public lands but also lands inhabited by nearby communities.

Through these grants, NEEF seeks to:

  1. Support efforts that improve the public land/space for visitors
  2. Support efforts that address increasing people’s understanding of their relationship with the public land/space and the environment as a whole
  3. Support efforts that assist communities in understanding and embracing the need for meaningful stewardship
  4. Support efforts that demonstrate a collaborative planning and implementation process with involvement from a variety of stakeholders (i.e. community organizations, veterans groups, student organizations, etc.)

Preference will be given to existing state/federal service corps groups and organizations (i.e. Corp’s Network, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Conservation Corps, etc.) who have agreements in place with a public land/space and are leading the way in bringing stability and a sense of safety in their recovery efforts.

Grant Guidelines and Timeline

  • Applicants can request up to $20,000 in grant funds
  • Application Opens: Friday, August 10, 2018
  • Application Closes: Friday, September 14, 2018
  • Grantees Announced (first round): September 17, 2018 (week of)
  • Grant Period: September 2018-September 2019
  • Interim Report Due: April 30, 2019
  • Final Report Due: October 30, 2019


  • Open to 501(c)3 doing work on public lands in areas affected by natural disaster in 2017 and/or 2018
  • Applicant has a documented connection to a public land agency. These include federal, state, and local public land agencies. A current partnership letter from a public land partner agency must be provided to show support of proposed project
  • Applicants will incorporate an NPLD event in 2018 or 2019 as a project milestone. 2018 events must be registered via the NEEF website
  • Provide a letter of support from a local community partner who will aid in volunteer/donation efforts

Strong Applications Will Include the Following

  • Describe the specific damages sustained by the public land(s), when and where disaster(s) occurred; the extent of the damage; efforts currently underway by applicants, the community, etc.
  • Describe how funds will further enhance current rebuilding/restoration efforts;
  • Describe how natural infrastructures will be implemented as a way to prevent/minimize future disasters
  • Describe how education will be used to help participants learn what practices they can apply in neighboring communities to support the proposed restoration efforts;
  • Provide a detailed plan(s) of action based on both short-term needs that lead to long-term impacts
  • Provide a detailed timeline of when programming/activities will take place during the grant year. These should include volunteer events
  • Describe the project team, including partnerships with community-based organizations, Friends Groups, schools, health care organizations, or others involved in the proposed project.
  • Detail the roles and involvement of each organization cited in the application. Include plans for establishing a new, or engaging an existing, cross-sector network of partners to participate actively in the implementation, and evaluation, if applicable

All applications must be submitted through our online system. If you have any questions or problems, please contact us at grantsadmin@neefusa.org.