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Metro's community partnerships program works with community organizations big and small to build community and connect people of color with nature at Metro's parks and natural areas. These partnerships organize community events, implement nature programming activities, connect communities with park planners and decision makers, explore nature-based career pathways, and offer other activities that build racial equity, diversity and inclusion in the region.
The program manages an annual budget of $250,000. Organizations and groups led by and for people of color can access these funds and Metro staff support through four program areas designed to strengthen community-led, Metro-led and co-created activities. All activities must benefit communities in greater Portland. Some funds require that activities take place at Metro parks and natural areas. The one-time Capacity Building sponsorship does not require that activities take place in Metro parks and natural areas.
Increase opportunities for communities of color to experience nature in greater Portland. Some funds require that activities increase opportunities for communities of color to experience nature in Metro parks and natural areas.
This new, one-time program provides funding for community organizations and groups to build capacity to connect BIPOC communities with nature.
There are two program versions:
Open call: This program is for organizations and groups who have not previously received funding from Metro Parks and Nature’s Community Partnerships Program (formerly Partners in Nature) or the Nature in Neighborhoods Community Grants program.
By invitation: This program is for organizations and groups that have been previously funded by Metro Parks and Nature’s Community Partnerships Program (formerly Partners in Nature) or the Nature in Neighborhoods Community Grants program. If you believe you are eligible but did not receive an invitation, contact Tara Sonali Miller at [email protected].
Total funding available: $145,000 Total funding per partner: $3,500-$9,500
Metro-led programming support
This funding provides financial support for transportation and interpretation so community members can take part in Metro-led classes and activities.
Total funds: $10,000. Total funding per partner: Up to $1,100 per activity.
Open now. Request through the nature education and volunteer program reservation process.
Sponsorships for community-led programming
These sponsorships provide funding and Metro staff support for community organizations and groups to explore Metro's parks and natural areas and create culturally relevant activities, classes and events.
Total annual fund: $75,000. Total funding per partner: $3,500.
Currently closed for applications.
Partnership innovation funds
These funds support community groups and members who partner with Metro staff on innovative projects and initiatives to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion in the parks and natural areas system.
Total funds: $45,000*. Total funding per project: $10,000.
*Includes funding for fee waivers and agency-wide sponsorship program.
Funding now open. Requests are made by Metro staff.
Co-created community partnerships
These partnerships bring Metro and community-based organizations together to make Metro's parks and natural areas more welcoming.
Total annual fund: $120,000. Total funding per partner: Up to $30,000.
Who is eligible to apply?
Community partnership funds are intended to support community-based organizations and groups (including community groups, non-profits, neighborhood groups, faith groups and service groups) led by and for people of color.
Activities must benefit communities in greater Portland and take place at Metro parks and natural areas.