The Communities category provides funding links to Web sites focusing on brownfields, community and economic development, sustainable development, education, transportation, and other opportunities for local-level funding. These links are organized in three groups:
- The NOAA Restoration Center has developed the Community-Based Restoration Program Web page to disseminate information about grant opportunities offered through its funding partnerships. Grant opportunities are posted, on an ongoing basis, as partnerships are developed and funding becomes available.
- The Clean Marina Initiative is a voluntary, incentive-based program promoted by NOAA and others that encourages marina operators and recreational boaters to protect coastal water quality by engaging in environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures. Funding is available from NOAA and other partners.
- The Environmental Protection Agency provides a web site that links users to its many grant programs: brownfields, environmental justice, sustainable challenge grants, pollution prevention for states, regional grant contacts, and many others.
- The Department of Agriculture's Rural Community Empowerment Program provides community development grants to rural communities. It also provides a tool that finds Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs), appearing in the Federal Register, that invite applications for federal grant programs. Use this tool to generate a customized listing of NOFAs.
- The Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration has a Web site offering one-stop access to Federal Transit Administration grant program information. This site highlights transit grants for cities and communities of various sizes, grants for transporting the elderly and disabled, and grants for buses and bus-related projects.
- The Federal Highway Act, also known as the Federal Surface and Transportation Program, now funds shared use paths, trails, bicycle transportation, and pedestrian projects. These alternatives are eligible for nearly all major federal highway funding programs. The Federal Highway Administration has also identified some key programs that fund trails. Note that recreational trails are eligible under the Recreational Trails Program.
- The National Parks Service administers several programs focused on parks, trails, and open space. These programs offer grants, lands, and/or technical assistance for communities interested in establishing or preserving parks, trails, and open spaces.
- The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) authorizes federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for 1998 to 2003. Special programs include funding for bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways, recreational trails, scenic byways, ferry boats, and other strategies aimed at reducing sprawl.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) mission includes spurring economic growth in distressed neighborhoods and helping local communities meet their development needs. A description of the grants HUD uses to provide funding for brownfields and redevelopment is available on its Web site. HUD's funding is announced yearly through a SuperNOFA (Notice of Funding Availability).
- The Energy Foundation is a partnership of major foundations interested in sustainable energy that supports six programs: power, buildings, transportation, national policy and analysis, climate program, and the China sustainable energy program. The Energy Foundation also provides application guidelines for funding eligibility.
- The Guidebook of Financial Tools: Paying for Sustainable Environmental Systems, produced in 1999 by the Environmental Financial Advisory Board and the Environmental Finance Center Network, provides information explaining how states and localities might use various financial tools to discourage pollution and promote the use of sustainable systems. The guidebook provides case studies, strategies, tools for various-sized local governments, and links to other sources of information, and is indexed for easy access.
- The Conservation Fund partners with corporations and foundations to provide grants in conservation. The Fund is currently supporting three grant programs: Banrock Station Wines Wetlands Conservation, Watershed Action Grants, and the Eastman Kodak American Greenways Award Program.
- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant Program is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, established by Congress to address environmental education, natural resource management, habitat protection and restoration, and conservation policy development. The foundation creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to offer such grant programs as the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed, Community Salmon Fund, Coral Reef Conservation, Five Star Restoration Challenge, Gulf Conservation Challenge, International Sea Turtle Conservation, Pacific Grassroots Salmon Initiative, Shell Marine Habitat Program, the Pathways to Nature Conservation Fund, and many more.
- The Sustainable Communities Network is an organization dedicated to linking citizens to resources and one another to create healthy, vital, sustainable communities. This site provides regular updates on funding sources available for sustainable communities.