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Youth Community Access Grant Program

Grants to California Nonprofits, Agencies, and Tribes
for Youth-Led Educational and Outreach Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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California Natural Resources Agency

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/16/20 5:00 PM


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Grants to California nonprofit organizations, agencies, and tribes for educational and outreach programs that are youth-led. Projects should increase access to services and activities in the focus areas of nature, culture, outdoor experiences and skills workshops, farming, and agriculture. Priority consideration is given to youth in underserved and low-income communities. Funding will be awarded to programs including that support youth substance use prevention and early intervention.

Research abounds demonstrating the connection between the outdoors and the physical, emotional, and mental success of young people. From camp experiences to urban parks, being in nature reduces stress, builds confidence, promotes creativity, encourages exercise, and teaches responsibility. Each of these aspects, in addition to others, contribute to a young person’s health and wellbeing, including substance use prevention.

In accordance with Proposition 64 and the research discussed above, the Youth Community Access Grant Program will focus awards on communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies, also known as the War on Drugs, as well as other underserved communities.

Underserved communities means communities of color and vulnerable populations. Communities of color are American Indian/Alaskan Native, African American, Asian-Pacific Islander, and Latinx. Vulnerable populations are foster and transition age youth, LGBTQIA youth, youth with disabilities, youth involved in the juvenile or criminal justice system, and other youth populations disproportionately affected by past state and federal drug policies.

For more details on underserved communities and the War on Drugs, see pages 8-9 of the Guidelines in the Supporting Documents section below.

Eligible Projects:

This program is a competitive grant program to support public programs, educational programs, job training programs, outreach programs, and small capital asset projects to support youth access to natural and cultural resources.

General Requirements:

  1. Project must serve youth. For the purposes of this program, youth is defined as a person between the ages of birth and 26.
  2. Project must increase youth accessibility to natural and/or cultural resources and associated services.
  3. Project must include design features and program elements to promote youth health, safety, well-being, and comfort.

Funding Priorities

Projects containing the following elements will be given priority consideration in funding decisions:

  1. Projects that feature youth-led opportunities. Youth-led means projects in which youth are a participant in the planning, decision making, facilitation, and evaluation;
  2. Projects that propose resource awareness campaigns featuring youth and using youth vernacular; and
  3. Projects that empower youth to make healthy choices.

Applicants must propose either a program project or a capital project or a combination of a program and capital project. For combination projects the program and capital aspects must directly tie to and support each other.

For examples of potential funded activities, see pages 9-10 of the Guidelines in the Supporting Documents section below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 191676

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum award for an individual project is $300,000. The minimum award amount is $25,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include local, state, and federal agencies; nonprofit organizations; federally-recognized Native American tribes; or non-federally-recognized California Native American tribes listed on the California Tribal Consultation List maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission.

Ineligible Project Examples:

- Project Proposals that include more than one project (however, more than one Project Proposal can be submitted by an applicant)
- Development projects contingent on future land acquisition for project implementation
- Acquisition of non-eco-friendly or clean vehicles (use of existing non-clean vehicles is allowed)
- Cash reserves, endowments, or fundraising activities
- Payment of a debt or mortgage
- Projects that do not serve youth
- Lobbying or lawsuits
- Sub-granting or regranting
- Development projects where the applicant cannot satisfactorily gain permission to develop/maintain the site
- Development projects that are intended to correct problems caused by inadequate maintenance

Pre-proposal Conference:

Technical Assistance Workshop Schedule:

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
1:00-3:00 PM

Thursday, August 13, 2020
9:00-11:00 AM

Monday, August 17, 2020
1:00-3:00 PM

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
9:00-11:00 AM

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
1:00-3:00 PM

All workshops will be held via webcast. Please RSVP in order to receive login information. Each workshop will have a limited number of participants.

RSVP online:

RSVP may also be done by email or phone (see Contact Information below).

Pre-Application Information:

The California Natural Resources Agency will be accepting proposals for the Youth Community Access Grant Program from July 14th, 2020 to September 16th, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

This grant program consists of a progressive, three-step evaluation process:

1) Project Proposal
2) Field Inspection (virtual or onsite)
3) Supporting Documents

All documents are submitted using the California Natural Resource Agency’s System for Online Application Review (SOAR).

More than one Project Proposal can be submitted by an applicant.

Payments will be made on a reimbursement basis. This means the Grantee pays for services, products, or supplies; submits invoices and proof of payment; and is then reimbursed by the State. It generally takes six to eight weeks to receive payment after Grantee submits a completed payment request.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For questions and to RSVP for technical assistance workshops, call (916) 653-2812 or email

For technical assistance with the System for Online Application Review (SOAR), please call or email the SOAR help desk:

Phone: 916-653-6138

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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