Cornell Univ. Awards $5K to Two Non-Profits on Eastern Shore

Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology (Cornell Lab) recently awarded a $5,000 grant to develop a six-part bird conservation series to be held in 2022. 

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) and the Lower Shore Land Trust (LSLT) recently received $5000 funding in funding for a collaborative six-part bird conservation series to be held in 2022. The funds were awarded through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Cornell Lab)’s Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative Small Grant Program. The project is meant to highlight various bird conservation and restoration practices across the Delmarva Peninsula.

According to the press release:

This upcoming conservation series will highlight regional restoration efforts being implemented by conservation partners through discussions of restoration practices and trainings geared toward land trust members and volunteers, as well as interested members of our community. Through these focused programs, which include bird banding demonstrations and birding walks, partners aim to increase awareness of the challenges to bird populations and of the actions being implemented to counter these declines.

Cornell Lab’s Small Grants program is meant to, “to help increase the footprint and impact of bird conservation on private lands by providing funding and technical support to land trusts and their partners through bird monitoring implementation, management and restoration of habitat on private lands, and increased capacity for community outreach and partnerships.”

For the upcoming 2022 round of grant applications there will be 6 grants of $5,000 each and 8 grants of $25,000 each. Applications are due by March 1st, 2022.

Criteria for grant applications:

Primary Evaluation Criteria

  • Applicant organizations must reside within U.S.
  • Project must accomplish or contribute to bird conservation on private lands through activities such as (but not limited to) strategic planning, outreach, habitat management, stewardship, bird monitoring, eBird use, capacity building, and land or easement acquisition.
  • Strong proposals for the $5K and $25K grants will include more than one of the above activities (note: these tracks do not fund land or easement acquisition).
  • Project partners should be engaged through the proposed work.
  • Proposal must articulate clear project objectives, detailed plan of activities, and expected conservation outcomes with associated measures of success.
  • Proposed objectives and activities should be accomplished within the stated grant period of one year.
  • Co-funding is not required, but strong applications will be supplemented by in-kind or partner contributions, matching dollars, or other resources that will leverage the impact of the proposed work.
  • Project budget must include allowable expenses, such as indirect costs no greater than 10%, a budget justification, and project funds clearly delineated if included within a larger budget.
  • Applicant should demonstrate sufficient organizational capacity and commitment to complete, and sustain if applicable, the proposed grant-funded activities.
  • Proposals to build on previously funded projects from past awardees will be considered. They must demonstrate a high level of competence, accountability and due diligence, including satisfactory completion of previous award.
  • Past land trust awardees are free to apply again for a different project supported by their land trust and partners.
  • Applicants can apply for any of the grant tracks and are welcome to submit or be a partner on more than one proposal for different projects. Expect only one request, for which you are a lead applicant, will be funded if selected.

Secondary Evaluation Criteria

Capacity and Partnership Grants

  • Projects must build land trust capacity by teaching or demonstrating how birds can enhance strategic planning and mission fulfillment of land trusts (e.g. using eBird as a conservation planning tool), and/or facilitate mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships with the bird conservation community.
  • Requested grant funding should not exceed $5,000.
  • Priority will be given to the formation of new, regional or state based land trust collaboratives with multiple partners.
  • See Example Activities page for ideas of activities that we would consider funding under this grant track.

Management and Restoration Grants

  • Organization should either be an accredited land trust or be working with an accredited land trust as a partner. Ideally the lead applicant should be the accredited land trust.
  • Projects should actively manage, restore, and/or steward land in a way that enhances habitat and promotes bird conservation, with special emphasis on priority species or those identified in State Wildlife Action Plans.
  • Requested grant funding should not exceed $25,000.
  • Preference will be given to land trusts with previous habitat management experience.
  • See Example Activities page for ideas of activities that we would consider funding under this grant track.

Read more about Cornell Labs & their Small Grant Program.

Read more about Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. 

Read more about Lower Shore Land Trust.