Mini Grants

Seed funding to empower change

Photo credit: Marc Gathmann

Who can apply: Persons, schools, nonprofit organizations.

Application period: Applications are accepted year-round

Amount: Up to $500

Grant Uses

Mini grants are available for many different needs and uses, including:

  • Habitat restoration
  • Native plants
  • Semi-public and public landscaping
  • Competitive gardening events
  • Supplies for educational & science projects
  • Fees and permits
  • Irrigation parts
  • Equipment rentals
  • Bulk office supply
  • Pass fees for project-required transportation
  • Computer software and/or hardware
  • Field tools may be considered if returned to the Chapter Treasurer with only normal wear and tear at the completion of the project.
  • Prohibited uses include: Payment to people and staff for their work, pay for food & drink, household bills, clothing, etc.


  • Payment is provided via reimbursement for relevant expenses. Receipts and supporting documents must be submitted to the Chapter Treasurer via mail or email.
  • Payment may be denied if expenses are outside the approved project scope, reporting requirements are not met as agreed, or under other reasonable concern by the CNPS-San Diego Board.
  • Applicant must guarantee all expenses submitted were spent on the approved project, not used for other projects or misappropriated under penalty of fraud per California Civil Code – CIV§ 3294.

Project Requirements

The mini grant program is intended to further CNPS-San Diego’s mission to conserve San Diego and Imperial counties native plants and their natural habitats, while enriching and enhancing the public’s understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants. As such, projects should:

  • Promote the public good and showcase native plants of San Diego and/or Imperial Counties.
  • For botanical studies, promote factual science and sound botanical research.
  • For landscaping and garden projects, native plants must cover at least 1/2 (50%) of the planting area and be at least 2/3 (66%) of the total new plant count.

Process And Timeline

  1. Begin by filling out the Online Mini Grant Application (Google Form).
  2. Submit a comprehensive Plant List showing at least genus and species, and photos or a map of the proposed project site by email to OR mail to CNPS-San Diego at the address listed below.
  3. The Mini Grant Coordinator or chapter President will present the application at the Board meeting following completed application receipt. The Board shall vote to approve or reject the Project. The result of the vote shall be provided to the applicant within 1 week of the vote. The Board may reject a mini grant project if sufficient funds are not in the chapter’s budget. On the request of the applicant, the project may be reconsidered following the next year’s budget approval or when funds become available.
  4. If approved, the Mini Grant Coordinator or President shall assign a Board member to be the liaison between the applicant and the Board; liaison will work with the applicant to ensure the project meets requirements.
  5. Following approval, applicant shall submit:
    1. A timetable of the proposed project progression.
    2. Reporting schedule developed by the liaison and applicant.
    3. Proof the Project has met all permit/permission requirements, if any are needed.
    4. ADDITIONAL FOR GARDENS & LANDSCAPING (vs. scientific studies): A timeline extending a minimum of 2 years or to the end of plant establishment period. The timeline shall address how the project shall be maintained, owned, and accessed.
  6. Completion of the mini grant process shall be defined as confirmation that:
    1. All of the materials to be reimbursed have been purchased and used;
    2. AND/OR the $500 grant limit has been met, AND a report is provided stating the results of the project;
    3. OR the project is abandoned AND a brief report is provided stating the results of the project and reason for abandonment.

Thank you for your interest in the California Native Plant Society San Diego Chapter’s Mini Grants Program! We look forward to reviewing your Mini Grant Application to help us further our mission to conserve San Diego and Imperial counties native plants and their natural habitats,. Please email a completed application form to mini grants or to the address below for Board consideration of your project.

CNPS-San Diego
P.O. Box 121390
San Diego, CA 92112-1390