Obtaining grants is one important way to fund planning and implementation projects. Each grant, generally, has goals and minimum requirements and may take the form of technical assistance from a specialist or provide straight funding for a community to use on a specific project. They may be financed by private foundations or government entities. Some require matching funds while others do not.
Below is a short list of the more accessible grants available to communities in Vermont. It is by no means an exhaustive list.
The Municipal Planning Grant Program
A state-funded program designed to support Vermont towns in their municipal planning efforts. The program funds technical assistance for town planning, implementation of plans and ordinances, encouragement of citizen participation and education, and innovative planning projects.
VT Community Development Program Grants
Grants to municipalities that provide financial and technical assistance to identify and address local needs and priorities in the areas of housing, economic development, public facilities, and public services for persons of lower income, funded through the Federal Community Development Block Grants program.
USDA Rural Development's Community Programs
Provides Community Program loans, grants, and loan guarantees for projects to develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. This may include hospitals, fire protection, public safety, libraries, schools, day care centers as well as many other community-based initiatives.
Partnership for Sustainable Communities
Funding and technical assistance for municipalities is sometimes available through the partnership of three Federal Agencies: EPA (environment), HUD (housing and urban development) and DOT (transportation).
Brownfields Reuse Initiative
Several programs designed to provide brownfield developers with tools to help deliver projects in a safe, timely and cost effective manner through: limitation of environmental liability; technical assistance; and financial assistance.
Trees for Local Communities Cost-Share Grant Program
The Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program's TLC Grants provide funds to communities for the purpose of developing and implementing local urban and community forestry programs.
Vermont Water Quality Grants (DEC)
Funds are available for water-related projects that protect or restore fish and wildlife habitats; protect or restore river corridors and shorelines; control aquatic nuisance species; enhance recreational use and enjoyment; identify and protect historic and cultural resources; educate people about watershed resources; or monitor fish and wildlife populations and/or water quality.
Lake Champlain Basin Program Grants
Annual grants for local watershed projects related to the implementation of the Opportunities for Action management plan for the Lake Champlain Basin. Who is Eligible: non-profit organizations, local municipalities, private or public schools. Projects must be in the Lake Champlain watershed.
Connecticut River Joint Commissions Partnership Program Grants
In support of innovative, community-generated projects that address economic and conservation challenges in ways that are compatible with the Connecticut River valley's historic, scenic, and natural resources.
The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation has had a 50/50 matching grants program to assist owners of historic agricultural buildings (barns, corn cribs, sheds, grist mills, etc.) since 1991. These can be in private ownership.
Historic Preservation Grants
Historic buildings are important to Vermont communities and organizations. Since 1987 the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation has had a 50/50 matching grants program to assist municipalities and non-profit organizations in restoring important historic buildings across the state.
Certified Local Government (CLG) Grants
CLG matching grants can be used to fund a wide variety of local preservation projects.
Local Transportation Facilities Section
Alternative Transportation: The latest information on transportation enhancements, scenic byways and bicycle and pedestrian funding for municipalities can be found at the Local Transportation Facilities Section of the Agency of Transportation.
Land & Water Conservation Fund
Matching funds to create parks and open spaces, protect wilderness and forests, and provide outdoor recreation opportunities – Federal funds administered by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.
Vermont Recreation Trails Grants
The Recreation Trails Program provides communities and non-profit organizations with the opportunity to create and maintain trails and greenways in Vermont. Trails and greenways contribute to the vision of an interconnected network that provides access to outdoor recreational opportunities within 15 minutes of every person's home.
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) is a non-profit service, conservation, and education organization that accomplishes their mission by forming small teams of young people who work with excellent adult leaders to complete conservation projects. They improve local resources, and construct and improve trails and wild life enhancements.