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Fire-Adapted Communities: The Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire Program (CPAW)

Along with their devastating physical and psychological toll, the price tag for fighting wildfires keeps increasing. According to Headwater Economics, since 2002, the cost of federal wildfire protection and suppression has tripled to more than $3 billion per year. A separate federal report found that 44 million U.S. homes are in the "wildland-urban interface" or the vulnerable place where development intersects with fire-prone wilderness areas. As growth continues to expand past the edge of town in so many places, there is a strong proactive push to safeguard lives and property. The Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) Program is one resource to help municipal officials reduce the risk of wildfire hazards from the start through improved land use planning.

Building Capacity:  How Community Coalitions Are Improving The Chances of Federal Funding Awards

Since early 1990s, community coalition building has made progressive inroads for securing federal funding for community based projects. Building capacity within partner organizations and collaborative sectors strengthens relationships and provides a solid foundation to identify and solve the most pressing community problems. Community coalitions can be the answer that is sitting on the lap of organizations that are seemingly struggling to keep vital programs alive, while the push for greater collaboration is embedded within the verbiage of federal funding announcements and requirements. Many organizations do not understand how to begin building a coalition, while others choose not to participate, which ultimately places unnecessary burdens and limitations for organizational and programmatic sustainability.

Rails-to-Trails Grants:  The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Development Fund

Rails-to-trails is an exciting movement that converts abandoned railroad tracks into trails for pedestrians, equestrians, cyclists and kinetic enthusiasts of all kind. High profile repurposed lines include the Atlanta Beltway, Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail, and New York's High Line which is beginning to rival Central Park as a must visit tourist attraction. Whether urban, rural, or somewhere in between, recycled railroads are a perfect place for fitness, fun, and financial renaissance. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy via the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund is currently offering competitive grants to build or improve mulituse trails.

Jobs, Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economies - A Technical Assistance Opportunity from Smart Growth America

Smart Growth America is a national nonprofit that brings smart growth practices to communities across the country. We first told you about them in our post about their Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance opportunities. They are currently offering workshops for economic capacity building in their Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economic Development Technical Assistance program.

Capacity Building for Local Government - Resources from the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program

Capacity building! Most of us know the general meaning even if its nuances have yet to completely crystallize in our minds. In broad terms, it means enabling an entity to help itself. In the nonprofit arena, it is related to organizational effectiveness and has become an increasingly popular area for funding. There is also a federal program dedicated specifically to local communities. The Building Neighborhood Capacity Program (BNCP) is dedicated to providing the combination of knowledge, skills, relationships, processes and resources that residents, local organizations and cross-sector partners need to work together to achieve their goals.

Innovation Meets Entrepreneurship - The Regional Innovation Strategies Program

There is a long list of American ideas and inventions that have changed the world, from the telephone to the television. The Economic Development Agency (EDA) is dedicated to making sure the U.S remains a matrix for cutting-edge enterprise. The EDA is the only agency in the federal government whose exclusive focus is economic development, particularly for distressed areas. Part of the Department of Commerce, it promotes innovation and regional collaboration to enhance the health of local economies. Not all funded projects have to be as revolutionary as the light bulb, the point is to support viable new companies that create jobs. The EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS) is accepting applications for two separate competitions for capacity building:

The Farmers Market Promotion Program

Who would not prefer to bite into a strawberry right off the vine instead of a frozen one, or take in the scent of a real flower rather than artificial fragrance? That same authentic experience occurs when we shop at farmers markets. There is something about the fresh air and connection to those who grow our food that makes us feel like a part of it all. Of course there are more tangible benefits too. Estimates hold that farmers markets put three times more of their sales back into the local economy than the major chains do. Farmers markets preserve the time-honored vocation of farming. They promote healthy eating with food so delicious we don’t notice it’s good for us. Want to make new friends? Market patrons have an average of 15-20 social interactions per visit. When was the last time that happened at the grocery store?

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