Mel Noland PDF icon Grant Application PDF icon Grant Guidelines MS Word icon Press Release

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service (DNR FS) and the Maryland Forestry Foundation (the Foundation) are pleased to announce the launch of the Mel Noland Woodland Grant program. This grant opportunity for the local Maryland Forestry Boards is to encourage participation in outreach to local landowners, local governments and schools for the purpose of Private Forest Stewardship, tree planting and development of Forest Stewardship Plans or Forest Conservation Plans.

The funds for the program were made available by the passage of the Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009. This landmark legislation directed the expenditures from the Woodland Incentive Fund, later renamed the Mel Noland Woodland Incentive Fund in 2011, and designated that a portion of the Fund to be allocated to the local Forestry Boards for landowner outreach.

Former Maryland State Forester Steve Koehn said, “I am pleased to announce that the “Mel Noland Challenge Grant” program will begin taking applications January 1, 2014. These grants will help our county Forestry Boards provide outreach to forest landowners to encourage development and implementation of Forest Stewardship Plans.”

All Forestry Boards in the State of Maryland are eligible to request up to $2,500 in the Challenge Grant program provided they are able to match the state funds dollar-for-dollar with funds generated locally. Matching funds may come from local government, private donations or grants from states other than Maryland.

Make an Application - "Reframe" Your Local Budget

You are invited and encouraged to apply for a Mel Grant from the Maryland Forestry Foundation. This is a unique opportunity --the first time in over 20 years DNR has provided funding for local Forestry Boards. Mel Grants are intended to enhance and expand the work of the local Forestry Boards. This can be done by focusing on a single project or spreading the funds across several activities of the your Board. The basic requirement is that Mel funds be matched from non-state sources and that they not supplant local support for NRCC funding.

The application need only address how these funds would be used to augment and enlarge the work of the Board where a match is available! The specific " requirement” for a 1 to 1 (dollar for dollar) local match for all Mel Fund requested is easy to misunderstand. ANY funds you raise locally for any of your work accept those in support off NRCC students is eligible to be used as a match for Mel Funds. In addition you may count volunteer labor and the value of any donated goods and services as a match for Mel! Mel funds may be used for a variety of local projects and need not be focused on only one activity. Here is an illustration of how you might reframe your thinking about your local work and apply Mel funds. Call my cell if you have questions or want to consult about options.

Illustration (Your Present Budget)

Bay County Forestry Board FY 2014

Present budget (income)
County Contribution $2,100
Event proceeds $750
Donations for NRCC $900
Total Income $3,750

Present planned program expenses

NRCC $900
Envirothon $500
Arbor Day $400
Fall Forestry Tour $300
Workshops $100
School signs/forests $400
Promotion $200
Yearend dinner $200
Newsletter/postage $200
Website $300
Woodlands Stewards $250
Total Expenses $3,750

Proposed new project: Wildlife habit restoration and buffer planting near local High school to provide outdoor teaching opportunity
Estimated cost: $3,000.
If the new project is #1 priority:

Option #1

Raise new money for project $1,500
Apply for Mel Grant $1,500
New money for project $3,000

Option #2: Reframe Your Budget

Qualifying income:
Total Income less NRCC $2,850 This meets the 50% local funding requirement
Mel Grant $2,500  
Total Income w/o NRCC $5,350  
Consider all forestry board activities (less NRCC):
Total expenses less NRCC $2,850  
Proposed project $3,000  
Total forestry board activities $5,850  
Net deficit $(500) Therefore, fundraising requirement drops from $1,500 to $500

Mels Funds may be supplemental to several activities concurrently

Gary G. Allen President
Maryland Forestry Foundationt
124 South Street #3t
Annapolis, MD 21401t
Office 410 267 8595 Cell 301 717 1579 Email: