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Applications Open for 2020 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants

$200,000 Available for Community Beautification, Greening, and Environmental Initiatives

Photo of group planting trees

Volunteers gather to plant trees, during a Healthy Harbor Initiative event organized by Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, a 2018 Clean Up & Green Up grant recipient.

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. 14, 2019. Awards will be announced in spring 2020.

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. Applicants may only apply for one of the offered grants per fiscal year.

Maryland Environmental Trust awards Keep Maryland Beautiful grants 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.

“Keep Maryland Beautiful grants are a great opportunity to support locally developed projects for cleaner communities, protected lands, and restored waterways,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said, “It’s an ideal partnership, engaging citizens to meet multiple conservation priorities at the state and local level.”

Funding for the Keep Maryland Beautiful grants program is provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Forever Maryland Foundation, and Maryland Environmental Trust.

“Through Keep Maryland Beautiful we empower local stakeholders to improve the health and beauty of their neighborhoods,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “We have provided more than $2 million in grants and equipment for the cleaning, greening, and revitalization of Maryland’s communities since 2017.”

The Maryland Department of Transportation has pledged $50,000 a year to the program for five years, starting in fiscal year 2018, totaling $250,000.

“The Maryland Department of Transportation continues to work tirelessly to serve our customers – all Marylanders – and being a good steward of the environment is just another way to ensure we are connecting people to life’s opportunities,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

Grants and funding amount available are:

  • Aileen Hughes Grant of up to $5,000 is awarded to an individual representing a Maryland land trust for outstanding leadership, partnership, and innovation in a conservation project or organization development.
  • Citizen Stewardship Grant Stewardship Grant 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 Grant of up to $5,000 is 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 Grant of up to $10,000 is 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 2019 awards included 71 grants totaling more than $215,000 for beautification projects, community cleanup activities, and environmental education programs in 19 counties plus Baltimore City and Washington, DC.