Volunteer planting trees at an event

2019 National Public Lands Day Department of Defense Awards - CLOSED

In commemoration of this year's National Public Lands Day, the Department of Defense, through the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment and the Natural Resources Program, will fund NPLD projects on military lands that are open to the public for recreation. The 2019 NPLD DoD Awards will provide up to $9,500 to selected installations to implement natural and cultural resources management, restoration, and/or enhancement projects on or around this year's National Public Lands Day on September 28, 2019. For 2019, DoD is asking applicants to think creatively! How can NPLD help DoD Natural and Cultural Resources Managers work more effectively? We seek proposals that enhance broader strategic or programmatic objectives, particularly for cultural resources. Applications for the 2019 NPLD DoD Awards are due by 11:59pm (EST) on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

Before you apply, please take a moment to review the award details below.


Applicants must be:

  • a Department of Defense installation site that is open to the public for recreation, including lands managed by the US Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, or Navy. Lands managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers are not eligible for Award funds;
  • registered for National Public Lands Day.

Applicants must propose a project that:

  • takes place on September 28th (project dates that take place 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks post NPLD are acceptable);
  • Describes a needed and well thought out project that can be completed by November 30, 2019.
  • Demonstrates how the project will:
    • engage a variety of volunteers in the project and create a positive experience for them;
    • improve or enhance broader strategic or programmatic objectives in natural and cultural resources conservation on the DoD installation; (engage installation natural and/or cultural resources managers if you do not know what these program objectives are)
    • involve or benefit the broader community;
    • promote a stewardship ethic among participants via project-relevant environmental education and communication opportunities.
  • Presents an appropriate and detailed project budget.
  • For previous award winners, recipient successfully completed past project(s) on time, achieved goals, and was responsive in communications with NEEF, including submitting a satisfactory Final Report.


Award funds may NOT be used for:

  • Lobbying, propaganda, or attempting to influence legislation
  • Influencing the outcome of any specific election by any means
  • Covering budget shortfalls, general support or endowment funds
  • Land acquisition or real estate purchases
  • Giveaways or gift item, such as t-shirts
  • Purchasing food*
  • Paying for labor or salary costs
  • Scholarships, fellowships or grants to individuals
  • Any costs not directly related to the funds requested in the proposal

Purchasing items required to complete work (e.g., small tools, garden gloves) is allowable.

Funding for signage will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and may be allowable provided the signage is installed by the volunteers during the event. Funding requests for tools and signage should be balanced against other project needs.

*Federal funds cannot be used to pay for food and beverages unless doing so is reasonable and necessary (i.e., providing water at an outdoor event where there is no other source of water is allowable)


NEEF prefers that projects take place on NPLD, Saturday, September 28, 2019. Alternate dates for NPLD events may be allowed for those regions where weather conditions during September are prohibitive.  However, all projects must be completed by November 30, 2019.

Application Due: by 11:59pm (EST) on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Awards Announced: End of July

National Public Lands Day project: September 28, 2019 (or alternate date)

National Public Lands Day project completion deadline: November 30, 2019

Final Reports Due: January 10, 2020


National Public Lands Day DoD Award applications are only  accepted through NEEF’s online system. Follow these steps to register and begin your application:

  1. Click here to apply.
  2. You will be taken to a login page. If you have not created an account from a previous NEEF award, select Create New Account. If you have created an account with NEEF, skip to step 4.
  3. Follow the instructions to create your account. It will ask you for your contact information as the account holder and the contact information for your organization’s representative. Contact information supplied in the User Information section should reflect the individual who will be directly handling the application process for your organization. In the Organization Information section, we recommend that you include the contact information of the person in charge of your installation site or office. This would be the person who is authorized to sign off on items such as Award Agreements.
  4. Upon creating an account, it will take you to your home screen. To start your application, click Apply in the menu on the left. You will be taken to a list of NEEF awards and funding opportunities. Select 2019 National Public Lands Day DoD Awards.
  5. Complete the application. Remember:
  6. You can save the application and return later.
  7. Pay close attention to character limits.  These limits include spaces!
  8. Once you have completed the application and uploaded all attachments, click Submit Form to complete your application. If you do not click Submit Form, you will not have completed your application. You will be directed to a confirmation screen upon submitting. 

 If you have any questions or problems, please consult our FAQ or don’t hesitate to contact us at grantsadmin@neefusa.org.


Apply Now!