Matching Grant

Environmental Sustainability Matching Grant

Sustainability Matching Grant Applications

The application open period is now closed for the 2019 round of sustainability matching grant funding for municipalities in Boulder County. Please check back in mid-2019 for the next round of grant funding.

Grant Program Description

Boulder County’s Environmental Sustainability Matching Grant Program provides an opportunity for municipalities in the county to undertake environmental sustainability priorities within their communities. In addition, it will help the county collectively set goals for collaborative efforts and leverage resources across our county for a more regional approach to environmental sustainability. For information on Boulder County’s commitment to environmental sustainability, please review the county’s Environmental Sustainability Plan.

Environmental Sustainability Focus Areas

Boulder County is encouraging programs that support the following environmental sustainability focus areas:

  • Sustainability Planning
    • The development of a sustainability plan or climate action plan
    • *Hiring a part-time Sustainability Coordinator or Planner to assist in implementation of a community sustainability plan
  • Commercial Sector Sustainability
    • The development of commercial/industrial/institutional energy codes and policy
    • **Leveraging countywide Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) services, including energy, waste, water, and transportation
    • **Business Recognition
  • Energy & Buildings
    • The development of residential and/or commercial/industrial/institutional energy codes & policy
    • Renewable energy deployment and innovative incentives
    • **Leveraging countywide EnergySmart residential services or other county income-qualified initiatives
  • Climate Change
    • **GHG inventories & GHG reduction strategies
    • **Carbon sequestration, such as tree planting or compost application
    • **Membership in climate policy or action organizations
    • Climate adaptation
  • Linkages between Affordability & Sustainability – projects that overlap multiple focus areas and have both affordability/social and environmental benefits
    • Land Use (zoning, permitting, etc.) updates
    • Policies & codes for new construction
    • Linkages between housing and energy
    • Linkages between housing and transportation
    • Linkages between business districts and transportation
  • Local Food & Agriculture
    • Local food infrastructure
  • Transportation
    • Alternative transportation
    • ***Electric Vehicle infrastructure
  • Water Conservation and Water Quality
    • **Leveraging Recourse Central’s Slow the Flow program for outdoor water audits, or high efficiency toilets
    • Funding for water saving devices
  • Zero Waste Services & Planning
    • Zero waste goal setting and roadmaps
    • Creative reuse
    • Incentivizing new businesses to create products or processes that keep waste out of the landfill
    • Recycling and composting in HOAs and businesses
    • Planning and implementation of other Zero Waste initiatives

*Any municipality with a population less than 5,000 needs to discuss a paid position with the grant manager before including a proposed position in the application.

**Grant applications are welcome that leverage or build upon existing successful sustainability services, including Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE), EnergySmart, and Resource Central’s water-saving programs as well as climate policy coalitions such as Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4A). Prior to submitting your application, we request that you discuss your ideas for leveraging one of these services with the respective program manager to best optimize the use of your grant funds. Contact Lea Yancey at 720-564-2723 to be connected with the appropriate program manager.

***Boulder County will not fund electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure for projects eligible for funding already provided by the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) Charge Ahead Colorado program.

What projects have been completed in the past?

  • Sustainability plan development & adoption
  • Residents helping to construct a community garden in LouisvilleHiring of a sustainability coordinator, intern, or contracting with consultant
  • GHG inventory/protocol
  • Environmental economic analysis
  • Contractor training in support of residential energy ordinance
  • Home energy efficiency incentives, in collaboration with EnergySmart
  • Solar projects, incentives, or streamlining solar permitting for community-wide benefit or in support of community 100% renewable energy goals
  • Community vegetable garden and local food projects
  • Bike racks
  • Incentives to encourage public transit ridership in partnership with transportation management organizations
  • Recycling stations at public spaces
  • Community water-filling stations to encourage reusable water bottles
  • Validation and improvement of deemed commercial energy savings, in collaboration with PACE
  • Green business recognition, in collaboration with PACE
  • Incentives for residents or businesses (in collaboration with PACE) to conserve water

Who can apply?

Any incorporated city or town located within Boulder County is eligible to apply. Any municipality may apply as long as the scope of work is within Boulder County, insurance requirements are met, and the municipality matches the dollar amount requested.

Eligibility Requirements and Project Criteria

  • Open to cities and towns in Boulder County.
  • Projects must be in compliance with all federal, state and local land use, regulatory and permit requirements.
  • Projects must be based within the municipality or town requesting the funds.
  • Projects proposed must benefit the community, not just the city/town government. This program will not fund capital improvements to municipal buildings.

What are the Evaluation Criteria?

Awards will be based on consideration of a variety of performance measurements, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The targeted population to be served;
  • How the proposed project fulfills an environmental sustainability priority identified within the municipality’s sustainability priorities or the countywide Environmental Sustainability Plan, and how success will be measured;
  • The ability of the government to provide assurances that it will be able to complete the proposed project within a 12-month timeframe;
  • Evidence of the existence of funding match for the expenditure;
  • Leveraging or enhancing existing countywide sustainability programs like Boulder County’s Sustainability Plan, EnergySmart, PACE Partners, water conservation programs, zero waste and resource conservation programs;
  • The inclusion of a signed collaboration letter(s) from respective departments in the city or town which could be affected by project proposed or would provide value in ensuring project success;
  • The creation of an IGA, MOU or other agreement to memorialize the grant requirements.

What funding is available?

The minimum funding amount available for a project is $5,000 with a maximum of $15,000. Municipalities must match their request with a 25 percent* cash match of the dollar amount requested.

*A city or town can propose a different match allocation if the municipality is financially strained and cannot provide a 25 percent cash match. Please include your proposed allocation amounts (i.e. reduced cash match, donations, in-kind, volunteers, etc.) in the application. Boulder County will review exception requests on a case-by-case basis. Each municipality must document how they track such contributions through quarterly reporting. Please use a volunteer hourly rate of $21.79/hour.

General Conditions

The county reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to waive minor irregularities in submittal requirements, to request modifications of the proposal, to accept or reject any or all proposals received, to grant full or partial funding of any request, and/or to cancel all or part of this solicitation at any time prior to awarding funds.

Funds are awarded on a competitive basis, no requests will be considered outside the standardized application and review process. Each applicant understands that there is no appeals process for proposals that are not accepted for funding.

Other Information:

Delays in start of project: Applying municipalities are required to start expenditure of any awarded monies on the project, as described in the application, within twelve months from the date of receipt of the monies by the receiving government. If an entity that has been granted funding is not able, for any reason, to accept and begin expenditure of its allocation within twelve months of the date of the award notification, the government must contact the Boulder County Commissioners’ Office (BOCC) with an explanation of the reason for the delay of funds expenditure.

BOCC Approval: The County Commissioners shall have sole discretion to approve or disapprove any delayed expenditure of Environmental Sustainability Grant funds. If disapproved, the allocation may be recovered by the Commissioners and/or re-allocated for the current or subsequent years, at the Board’s sole discretion.

Reporting expectations under grants awarded: Municipalities awarded a grant will be expected to provide quarterly reports with a financial summary and programmatic summary, including quantitative and qualitative metrics for success in environmental impacts. A municipality representative is also asked to attend two in-person meetings a year with all the matching grant awardees and quarterly one-on-one phone check-ins with the grant program manager.

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Contact Us

Sustainability Office

Lea Yancey
Community Sustainability Specialist

Sustainability Team Members


Boulder County Courthouse
First Floor
1325 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
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PO Box 471
Boulder, CO 80306