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Applications Being Accepted for 2024 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants

Photo of people with full trash bags at the side of a road

In 2021, Keep Maryland Beautiful grant recipient Montgomery Parks Foundation Program engaged 2,185 volunteers and 75 volunteer groups in 126 cleanup events. Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo.

The Maryland Departments of Natural Resources, Transportation, and Agriculture, along with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, are partnering to accept applications for this year’s Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants program.

These grants are offered annually to volunteer groups, nonprofit organizations, communities, and land trusts in Maryland to support environmental education projects, community stewardship, and the protection of natural resources in urban and rural areas. The deadline to apply for funding is November 15, 2023. Awards will be announced in March 2024. 

Keep Maryland Beautiful grants will be offered in the following categories: 

  • community stewardship grants for volunteer groups, nonprofits, local governments, and schools; 
  • capacity building grants for Maryland’s land trusts; and 
  • grants for nonprofits to implement forestry projects on agricultural land. 

About $318,000 is available for this year’s grant round. 

Logo of Keep Maryland Beautiful with Maryland state shieldFunding for the Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants is provided by the Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Department of Natural Resources; the Department of Transportation; and the Department of Agriculture, which is contributing funding for the first time. This year, the Chesapeake Bay Trust will administer the program’s grant application and award process.

“I’m very excited about this year’s grant round as we welcome new and significant participation from the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, combined with our long-time funding support from the Maryland Department of Transportation and our own Board of Trustees,” said John Turgeon, Director of the Maryland Environmental Trust.  “I look forward to a particularly impactful year of grantmaking with this new team in place.” 

Keep Maryland Beautiful was assigned to Maryland Environmental Trust at its creation by the state’s legislature in 1967, and it remains the Trust’s oldest program.

“The Trust is honored to help administer the Keep Maryland Beautiful program.” said Dr. Jana Davis, Chesapeake Bay Trust. “The projects supported by these grants empower people and inspire Marylanders to make real changes in their neighborhoods and for our environment that positively and directly impact lives.”

Grants and funding amounts available are:

  • Community Stewardship Grants of up to $5,000 are 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.
  • Capacity Building for Land Trusts Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded to Maryland land trusts to increase capacity, support programming and innovation, and foster stronger, better-connected land trusts that will protect natural resources and enhance the lives of residents and generations to come.
  • 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.
  • Tree Planting on Agricultural Land Grants of up to $50,000 are awarded to nonprofits to implement reforestation or afforestation projects on qualifying agricultural land to support Maryland’s efforts in planting and maintaining 5 million trees by 2031. 

Last year’s awards included 31 grants totaling $92,000 for beautification projects, community conservation activities, and environmental education programs in 12 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. The list of the 2023 award recipients is available online.