New River Chapter Grant Program

The 2024 grant application is due by April 22, 2024.

The most destructive influence driving extinctions is habitat loss. We are experiencing a loss not just of our native plants as land is developed, but an alarming loss of native insects that depend on them, as well as the birds and other wildlife that depend on the plants and the insects. We are not only losing beautiful and beneficial pollinators like butterflies, but other native insects that birds need to raise their chicks and other wildlife that depend on the foliage, seeds, fruits, and nuts that these plants produce. From native trees and shrubs to native perennials, our hope is that we can begin to repair our frayed environment and see an increase in the life forms we are currently losing. The fabric of our ecosystem is damaged and in need of repair.

To repair and restore native ecosystems it is essential to restore native plant communities first. If this is done, then the insects, birds, and mammals will follow. We are not suggesting that you disregard beauty to rebuild habitat, as there are many plants that bring beauty to our lives that are completely native. Although non-native or exotic plants lend beauty to our landscapes, it has been estimated that up to 90 percent of all insects are specialists and do not utilize non-native species (Tallamy, 2007). Maximizing the number of native plants in our landscapes is essential in establishing and maintaining healthy native ecosystems.

The VNPS New River Chapter Grant works to support community and educational projects focusing on native plants in the New River Valley. Projects funded by this award can range from native plant gardens installed or invasive species removal in neighborhood common spaces, schools, or on conserved land to undergraduates at Virginia Tech and Radford University with research projects that work to better understand or preserve Virginia native flora. Applicants are not limited to only these three types of projects; we encourage applicants with any creative project ideas to apply as well.

Grant Application Requirements

Project proposals must be submitted to the VNPS NR Grants Committee,, by Monday, April 22, 2024.

Grant applications should include the grant application form and a written description, no more than two pages, of the project goals and how they will be executed, materials needed, and estimated costs with any necessary justification. If installing a native plant garden, we ask that you include the location of the proposed garden, a list of the native plants to be used, any plans to ward off deer and other pests, and planned continual maintenance of the garden year-to-year. Materials for this may be included in the grant application. The location for a native plant garden should be public and accessible to the NRV community and installation of the garden should include educational signage about native plants and/or native habitats. If submitting a project proposal centered on research, we ask that you explain the importance of your research question and how your research might benefit conservation efforts. If undergraduates at a local college are applying for a grant, whether that is to install a native plant garden on campus or for a research project, we ask that a faculty advisor submits a brief letter endorsing the student(s) and agreeing to act in an advisory manner. This applies to any youth groups, i.e., 4-H or high school clubs that wish to submit a grant application as well.

The New River chapter encompasses seven counties, including Bland, Giles, Wythe, Pulaski, Carroll, Floyd, Montgomery, and the city of Radford. Anyone from the area covered by the New River chapter is welcome to submit a grant proposal.

Projects will be reviewed by the chapter grants committee, made up of VNPS NR members. All grant applications will be evaluated based on their use of funds and plan feasibility. Projects installing native plant gardens will also be evaluated on garden maintenance plans while research projects will be evaluated on potential contributions to conservation and ecology of native flora.

Proposals, questions, and correspondence concerning grants should be submitted to:
The VNPS New River Grants Committee

Grant Awards

Grant amounts typically range from $200 to $750, although larger requests may be considered for partial or full funding.

Applicants should expect to hear back from the grants committee 30 days after the application deadline.

Grant Reporting Requirements

If your project is awarded a grant, we ask that all grant recipients provide a brief written update (1 page) on the status of the project as well as a short presentation (10-15 minutes) on the project and its results within one year of receiving the grant at a VNPS NR monthly meeting.