• City of Tacoma QA
  • City of Tacoma Data

Sustainability Small Grant

Updated April 28, 2020: Due to budget constraints faced by the City as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, both the Sustainability Small Grant and Make a Splash Grant programs have been suspended for the remainder of the year. No applications for either program will be reviewed or awarded in 2020.

The City of Tacoma is grateful for our community’s continued commitment to restore, protect, and preserve our environment and surface water resources. With that in mind, we ask those who submitted (or were planning to submit) applications in 2020 to please hold on to your project ideas, as we hope to resume both programs in 2021. 

In the meantime, we invite you to visit any of the following City of Tacoma resources to learn about ways you can prevent stormwater pollution, help protect Puget Sound, and care for our shared environment – all while staying home, and staying healthy: 

For questions about the Sustainability Small Grant Program, please contact sustainability@cityoftacoma.org. For questions about the Make a Splash Grant Program, please contact makeasplash@cityoftacoma.org

Sustainability Small Grant logo


Sustainability Small Grant Program

The City of Tacoma's Environmental Services Department awards Sustainability Small Grants to help educate residents, and protect and restore our environment. A reimbursable maximum award up to $5,000 is open to anyone considering a project within Tacoma city limits**. Projects that help educate residents and/or businesses on the environment and sustainable practices are encouraged to apply. Strong grant applications will demonstrate a benefit to one or more of the three Environmental Services utilities. Collaboration with other groups, organizations and agencies is highly encouraged.

Sustainability Small Grant Brochure


As funding dollars are limited, and due to the makeup of Environmental Services and General Government funding for this grant program, applicants are encouraged to apply early in the year for a better chance at selection. Projects funded with Environmental Services dollars are required to benefit the City's surface water, wastewater or solid waste services. To learn more, check out the Sustainability Small Grant FAQs


Click to view the printable Sustainability Small Grant brochure which includes program information in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Khmer. 


Preference Will Be Given to Applications that: 

  • Demonstrate project readiness with a clearly defined scope, schedule, and budget

  • Indicate a minimum of 10% match of cash, other grant dollars, volunteer time (example value: $25/hr), materials, and/or professional services

  • Provide appropriate permissions/permits or letter of support*

  • Target City of Tacoma residents and take place within city limits**

  • Projects that support social equity

  • Projects that address the causes or impacts of climate change

  • First time applicants

*if applicable

** May be waived at the discretion of the Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability


Ineligible Activities and Elements Include:

  • Organizations that received Sustainability Small Grant funds in the past 12 months

  • For-profit entities (although staff and professional services can be hired to help project goals)

  • Purchase of computers, digital cameras, video cameras or other portable electronic equipment**

  • Advocating for a political figure, and/or election related activities

  • Purchases that could be construed as a gift to an individual or organization

  • Programs that promote or endorse a specific religious affiliation

  • Demonstrating discrimination against any group

  • Purchase of alcohol

Project Ideas:

  • Install a dual-port EV charging station in a public area

  • Expand Tacoma’s tree canopy by hosting tree planting parties

  • Create a community garden, food forest or pollination pathway

  • Education programs that teach local residents about the benefits of sustainable transportation options

  • Increase environment and sustainability awareness through conducting workshops, conferences, videography and more

Projects may be completed in the classroom, in the community or at a business. They also may be located along Tacoma’s numerous community gardens, parks and public spaces. Please note that permits may be required.


The Sustainability Small Grant program is funded by City of Tacoma General Government and the three Environmental Services' utilities: Surface Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste.


Learn more and apply!


For projects related to surface water, look to Make a Splash Stormwater Project Funding.


For sponsorship of event related expenses, such as recycling, portable toilets, and temporary bike racks, look to Green Event & Environmental Services Event Support.