The following summarizes the application process. For application resources, including a guide that provides detailed instructions on filling out the application,
see the Application Preparation Resources page. Evaluation
staff are available to answer questions you have regarding the completion of the grant
application (see Evaluation
Preparing an Application
Well prepared applications are key to project
selection. It is recommended that the applicant recruit an experienced
team of professionals or knowledgeable volunteers to assist with
preparation of the application. The team should include individuals
with experience in comprehensive planning, real estate, historic
and natural resource protection, land management and recreation
Responses to questions may be typed directly
on the application form in a "typeover" mode to prevent lines from shifting. Additional pages may be used, if necessary.
Do not alter the original language or format of the application
form (i.e., section headings, subsection headings and criteria).
Local governments and non-profit environmental organizations that
are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue
Code are eligible to apply for funding.
For the Parks and Open Space Program, Florida Communities Trust distributes 21% of the
Florida Forever funds appropriated by the Legislature in a given year. Eligible applicants may submit multiple applications, as long as the combination of awards applied for does not exceed $5 million. Awards requested in a partnership application are divided equally among the partners for the purposes of calculating individual applicant limits.
Counties with populations greater than 75,000 and municipalities
with populations greater than 10,000 are required to provide a minimum match
of 25 percent of the total project cost. Small counties and cities that are under the above thresholds, and eligible
non-profit environmental organizations, may apply for a 100 percent grant award.
Eligible Source of Match
- Existing or future cash from the applicant.
- Cash or funds from a regional, state or federal agency.
- Cash from a private donation.
- The value of real property owned by the applicant in a qualified
- The value of real property donated by the landowner in a documented
bargain sale or donation agreement.
Identifying a Project Site
A project site is defined as the specific area(s) identified by a
boundary map or legal description and certified survey, where Florida Communities Trust funds
are proposed to be used for the acquisition of land.
A project site may include non-contiguous areas, so long as connectivity
through other public ownership (excluding road right-of-ways and water bodies,
unless the parcels are directly across from each other) is demonstrated,
and the non-contiguous areas are part of a unified scheme of development
Applicants are encouraged to inventory available properties and determine
which sites are most competitive (score the highest) by self-scoring the
To minimize the possibility of encountering a prolonged or complicated
site acquisition, it is strongly recommended that applicants also take into
consideration any serious impediments to a successful real estate closing
such as known environmental hazards, an unreasonable number of parcels to
be acquired, or an unwilling seller.
Because the State of Florida will have an executory interest in the
land, the Florida Communities Trust shall have the right to refuse to deliver funds for closing
a site where hazardous materials contamination in the sole view of the Florida Communities Trust,
presents a liability to the state that outweighs the benefits derived from
the acquisition of the site.
All transactions must be voluntarily-negotiated sales with a willing
seller. The use of condemnation or the threat of condemnation is not considered
a voluntarily-negotiated transaction. It is important to know that the land
owner is at least willing to consider an offer to sell.
Submitting an Application
Four sets of application materials (one original
and three copies) should be submitted in 2 inch, 3 ring binders.
Set up each binder in the same order as presented in the application
(e.g., project information, acquisition plan, project summary,
project evaluation criteria and exhibits).
The application must be transmitted (see sample transmittal letter on the Application Preparation Resources page) with an original signature cover letter on local government or non-profit environmental
organization letterhead that binds the applicant to fulfill
commitments made in the application and identifies a key contact
person. All partners to the application are required to provide
an original signature letter including the binding statement.
Prior to making copies of the grant application
for submittal, carefully review the original to detect any math
errors, missing criteria or missing pages. An Application Completeness Checklist and a Project Self-Score Check Sheet are available on the Application Preparation Resources page to assist applicants in reviewing the completed application prior to submitting it. Upon completion, mail or deliver the four complete sets of
application materials to the following by the application deadline:
Mail/carrier service deliveries:
Florida Communities Trust
3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Mail Station 115
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000
Florida Communities Trust
3rd Floor, Carr Building
3800 Commonwealth Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
after the deadline shall not be considered by the Florida Communities Trust.
Following the receipt of the applications,
Florida Communities Trust staff will notify applicants of the timely receipt and status of their
Applications will be evaluated as they are
submitted at the time of the application deadline. No additional
information shall be accepted after the application deadline,
unless requested by Florida Communities Trust staff for clarification purposes.
Following the application evaluation period,
Florida Communities Trust will transmit a written evaluation report to each applicant.
The report contains the Florida Communities Trust staff analysis and recommended
score for each criterion addressed in the application.
Applicants will have an opportunity to provide
written comments to Florida Communities Trust on the evaluation report, for staff
consideration. Applicant comments must be submitted to the Florida Communities Trust at least five working days prior to
the scheduled project ranking and selection meeting.
Following the application evaluation period,
the Florida Communities Trust Governing Board
will hold a public meeting to rank and select projects for funding, based on the
final evaluation score of each project and actual funds available.
Overdue Stewardship Reports
The Governing Board will not consider any Applications submitted by an Applicant with
an overdue stewardship report. A stewardship report is considered overdue when it has not been
received or approved by the Trust within the one year period immediately preceding the grant
application deadline. Applicants may cure the overdue status if the overdue stewardship report
is received and approved by the Trust at least 21 days prior to the scheduled Trust
Governing Board project selection meeting.