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1404 Goodale Boulevard, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: (614) 486-9613
Fax: (614) 486-9614

Columbus Tree Assistance Program

Columbus Tree Assistance Program (TAP)

The grant application period for 2024 has closed. 

Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with Columbus Recreation and Parks Department to develop the Columbus Urban Tree Assistance Program. This program is made possible by funding from Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.

Increased tree canopy in urban areas is shown to be associated with positive health outcomes, lower average temperatures, reduced stormwater runoff, decreased soil degradation, increased biodiversity and an influx of economic opportunity. A recent Tree Canopy Assessment found that only 22 percent of Columbus is covered with trees. To grow the urban tree canopy and achieve the goals of Columbus’ Urban Forestry Master Plan and the Climate Action Plan, private tree canopy needs to increase throughout the city.

Civic associations, neighborhood associations, HOAs, area commissions and other organized groups of landowners will be eligible to apply for this competitive assistance program. Planting must occur on private property in the City of Columbus.

To increase accessibility and decrease the financial burden of these projects on private landowners, successful awardees will work closely with Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, who will make all purchases and pay invoices on behalf of the project.  

Two information sessions were held on 2/6 and 2/21. You can view the slide deck here and recording link here.

Application Materials

This assistance award is competitive, and applications will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Planting Plan Efficacy – How strong is the application in terms of site knowledge, conservation practices, and project team experience?
  • Canopy Impact – Is the project located in an area with low (less than 20 percent) canopy cover, or is the canopy cover lacking at the project site itself?
  • Community Connection – How well does the project connect and engage with the local community and partner organizations, both before and after implementation?
  • Future Maintenance – How does the project ensure the longevity and best management of these trees? (Tree collars/protection, mulching, etc.)
  • Underserved Community – Will the project be located in a historically underserved community (Celebrate One Neighborhoods, UMFP Priority Equity Areas, CDC Social Vulnerability Index, or others described in the application)?

Eligible Expenses

  • Purchase of native trees (5-15 gallon, approximately 4-6 feet tall) and associated delivery
  • Maintenance or planting items (not to exceed 20 percent of funding request)
  • Other items approved by Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District as necessary.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Projects previously completed or in progress
  • Design and consulting fees
  • Research
  • Salary and administration
  • Food or gifts
  • Sales tax
  • Pass-through costs like subsidies, discounts, or contractor fees
  • Educational displays that exceed more than 20 percent of the total cost
  • Anything deemed inappropriate by Franklin Soil & Water


*Organizations can apply for multiple programs (i.e TAP & mini-grant) for different projects (i.e. residential tree planting project & rain garden project). Projects may only be awarded from one program.