Forever Maryland, in partnership with the Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, is now accepting applications for the Keep Maryland Beautiful grants program.
Four different grants are being offered to help volunteer and nonprofit groups, communities, and land trusts support environmental education projects, litter removal, citizen stewardship, and solve natural resource issues in urban and rural areas. The deadline to apply for funding is Nov. 15, 2021. Awards will be announced in spring 2022.
The Keep Maryland Beautiful grants will be offered in two categories: Environmental Education, Community Initiatives, and Cleanups for community groups, local governments, and nonprofits; and Land Trust Capacity, Excellence, and Stewardship for local land trusts. Keep Maryland Beautiful grants are awarded annually to support the removal of thousands of pounds of litter and the revitalization of public lands and waterways in an effort to enhance and expand local capacity to conserve the state’s resources.
“We are pleased to work with our partners again to offer Keep Maryland Beautiful grants, supporting locally developed projects for cleaner communities, protected lands, and restored waterways,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “These initiatives engage Maryland citizens in important ways that protect our natural resources, enhance our communities, and improve our quality of life.”
Funding for the Keep Maryland Beautiful grants program is provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Forever Maryland, and Maryland Environmental Trust.
“Through our Keep Maryland Beautiful partnership the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will provide $250,000 to fund Clean Up and Green Up Maryland grants,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “These grants will support organizations like neighborhood associations or other local stakeholders to beautify and improve their communities.”
“The Keep Maryland Beautiful program has been a valuable partner in MDOT’s anti-litter initiatives,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Greg Slater. “Volunteer projects supported by these grants have removed tons of litter and debris from our roadways. Equally important, these projects plant seeds of knowledge and stewardship that could keep our roads – and our communities – clean and healthy for future generations.”
“Our Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants Program is an opportunity for everyone to have a lasting impact on our local communities and environment. Many of the projects are in economically disadvantaged communities where environmental cleanup and education are needed most. After impressive results from previous grants, we are eagerly anticipating innovative ideas for new projects and honored to provide the support to bring the ideas to life,” said Forever Maryland Chair, Nick Dilks.
Grants and funding amount available are:
–Aileen Hughes Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to an individual representing a Maryland land trust for outstanding leadership, partnership, and innovation in a conservation project or organization development.
–Citizen Stewardship Grants of up to $5,000 is awarded to schools, nonprofits, and other community organizations whose missions are centered upon directly engaging community members (especially children and young adults) in environmental education and stewardship. These grants also support organizations that demonstrate active engagement as defenders of the environment by developing innovative solutions to local environmental problems.
–Clean Up & Green Up Maryland Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to local governments, community groups, and nonprofit organizations to promote neighborhood beautification and cleanliness by increasing litter removal, greening activities, community education, and citizen stewardship.
–Janice Hollman Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded to land trusts to increase capacity, support programming and innovation, and foster stronger, better-connected trusts that will protect all natural resources and enhance the lives of citizens and generations to come.
Fiscal Year 2021 awards included 91 grants totaling $312,500 for beautification projects, community cleanup activities, and environmental education programs in 19 counties and Baltimore City.