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The Flower Show

Tree Programs

Bare root trees

Trees for Watersheds Grant Program 

Applications for 2024 Projects are due October 31, 2023 

One of the ways we can maximize the benefits that trees provide is by planting native species alongside streams and rivers. Often referred to as riparian buffers, these plantings help manage stormwater and reduce erosion while filtering pollutants and sediments before they reach our waterways. 

This improves water quality and reduces flooding in addition to the many other benefits that all trees provide. Creating these buffers is critically important for ecosystems but also for human health and well-being – much of our drinking water in the Philadelphia area is drawn from our streams and rivers. 

PHS manages the Trees for Watersheds grant program (formerly TreeVitalize Watersheds), which helps municipalities, nonprofits, and private landowners plant trees along streams, neighboring upland areas, and natural stormwater basins. The result is thousands of trees planted every year in sensitive water protection zones.  

The collaboration of five organizations helps make this grant possible: PHS for Philadelphia projects and the four Conservation District offices in each of the surrounding SEPA counties. 

Trees for Watersheds funding comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Aqua, an Essential Utilities Company 

How to Apply 

Applications are due each fall for projects in the following calendar year. Contact your grant advisor (district watershed specialist) prior to applying. We have a full list of all county specialists below. Each specialist will guide you through the project process. 

Once you’ve reviewed the process, download the application packet below. Applicants must have at least one PHS Tree Tender on their planting team or have training on proper tree selection, planting, and establishment. 

Municipalities and nonprofits

Municipalities and nonprofits may apply for land they own. Private landowners are eligible but must partner with an experienced conservation nonprofit. See a list of contacts below.

Bucks County Conservation District  
Karen Ogden, 215.345.7577 x107 
[email protected] 

Chester County Conservation District 
Cori Trice, 610.925.4920 x110 
[email protected] 

Delaware County Conservation District 
Karen Wilwol, 610.892.9484 
[email protected] 

Montgomery County Conservation District  
Brian J. Vadino, 610.489.4506 x15 
[email protected] 

Philadelphia County  
Tim Ifill, 215.988.8898      
[email protected] 

Grant Application Packet

A complete grant application must include:

  1. A project bid sheet
  2. A brief project narrative
  3. A site location map (in color)
  4. A signed Operations, Maintenance and Repair Plan/ Landowner Agreement Form
  5. A W9 for the lead organization

The TreeVitalize Watersheds Grants will cover up to 75% of project costs; grantees must provide at least 25% of the cost via eligible matching funds. 
All completed grant materials must be submitted to your grant advisor by October 31, 2023

2024 Grant Materials

2024 Trees for Watersheds Grant Announcement

2024 Eligible Expenses

2024 Application Checklist

2024 Bid Sheet Line-by-Line Instructions

2024 Trees for Watersheds Bid Sheet

Buffer Map Example

DEP Landowner Grantee Agreement and OMR Agreement

Questions? Contact the PHS Trees Team.

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