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Schoolyard Tree Planting Grant Program

Application deadline

Applications must be received by the City by June 1. Applications that are approved will be planted or funding awarded for spring season the following year. A minimum of one site visit with a City representative is required as part of the grant review process and must be completed between June 1 and December 1 of the application year.

Application form

Typical project timeline

June 1 Year X ? December 1 Year X February 1 Year X+1 March 1 Year X+1 Summer Year X+1 ? May 1 Year X+2
Submit application on or before June 1 Review of application Site visit with City representative required by December 1 Final approval by property owner by February 1 Final approval by City Project completion and receipts submission Care of trees Final report due by May 1 following installation
 (X= Year of application)

Eligible projects

Tree planting projects on school property within the City of Ottawa are eligible to apply for the Schoolyard Tree Planting Grant Program. Applications will be accepted from Student or Parent Councils, environmental/garden clubs, or other groups/ individuals that can demonstrate a commitment to the tree planting project in partnership with the school. In addition to project coordination, applicants must demonstrate the ability to perform tree maintenance activities.

Funding will not be awarded for projects that have already been completed. Groups may receive funding in successive years however; priority will be given to those groups who have not received past funding. Groups receiving funding will not be eligible for funding for tree planting through other City of Ottawa grant programs within the same year. 

Projects are eligible for funding to cover the purchase and installation of trees only. The following project elements are not eligible for funding:

  • Site furnishings (benches, gazebos, play structures, etc.)
  • Ponds 
  • Pathways 
  • Fencing
  • Signage
  • Planters 
  • Site preparation
  • Cedar hedges
  • Shrubs, perennials, grasses or other ground covers
  • Other non-tree related item

Expenditures and reporting

Funding must be spent and projects completed within eighteen months (18) of grant approval. For projects which have received funding dollars, submission of receipts is required within 3 months of expenditures. The City reserves the right to reduce or reject a previously approved funding application if the required documentation is not submitted within three months of project completion. 

A final project report is due by May 1 in the year following project installation and must include the number of trees planted, an evaluation of your tree maintenance program, and photographs of the new plantings. Recipients must acknowledge the City’s support from the Schoolyard Tree Planting Grant program in any news articles or related promotional material related to the project. 

Follow-up inspections by Forestry Services staff may be conducted to verify the plant installation and use of appropriate maintenance techniques and to suggest appropriate measures if problems arise. After the tree is planted, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the trees are watered and maintained to ensure healthy growth and establishment and that the trees will remain in their planted location.

Grant Evaluation Report (PDF)

Funding levels

The maximum grant funding level in any one year is $10,000. Grants may be awarded in funds (up to $500 per tree) or in trees supplied and planted by the City of Ottawa’s Forestry Services. No matching funding is required on the part of the applicant. The number of projects awarded each year is subject to the availability of City funds for this program. A limited number of schoolyard projects each planting season will be awarded with trees. The selection of these projects is at the discretion of Forestry Services.

For all project inquiries, please contact: 3-1-1