Funding Database: America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful Challenge

The America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC) program centralizes and distributes conservation funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other sources. The program simplifies the process for applying and receiving funds from five grants.

A multi-agency partnership administers the grants. Participating entities include the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Department of the Interior, Department of Defense, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Native Americans in Philanthropy. Applicants can obtain funding from multiple ATBC funding partners, if eligible.

Starting in 2022, the ATBC aims to administer at least $1 billion over five years. The program awards funding through these five grants:

  • Implementation
  • Planning
  • Sentinel Landscape (areas that preserve or enhance military readiness)
  • National Forest
  • Private Forests, Rangeland and Farmland

The five grants offered by the ATBC fund focus on the following themes:

  • Conserving and restoring rivers, coasts, wetlands and watersheds
  • Conserving and restoring forests, grasslands and other important ecosystems that serve as carbon sinks
  • Connecting and reconnecting wildlife corridors, large landscapes, watersheds and seascapes
  • Improving ecosystem and community resilience to flooding, drought and other climate-related threat
  • Expanding access to the outdoors, particularly in underserved communities

Eligible Applicants

States, U.S. territories and federally recognized tribes are open to apply to all five grants. Nonprofits, local and municipal governments and educational institutions may only apply for the Sentinel Landscape; National Forest; and Private Forests, Rangeland and Farmland grants. The 2023 eligibility guidelines for each grant can be found on the Quick Reference Guide (PDF).

Eligible Projects

Projects can be on public lands, tribal lands and private lands. Ideally, projects span multiple land ownership boundaries and jurisdictions. Program partners prioritize shovel-ready and large-scale restoration or conservation activities. They also prioritize proposals that will lead to on-the-ground completion. Projects that are already in action are not eligible. The program encourages projects that advance existing conservation or restoration plans or are informed by Indigenous Traditional Knowledge.

Funding Amount

Each grant award has a different range of potential funding.

  • Implementation Grants: $1 million - $5 million
  • Planning Grants: $200,000 - $2 million
  • Sentinel Landscape Grants: $250,000 - $1.5 million
  • National Forest Grants: $250,000 - $1.5 million
  • Private Forests, Rangeland and Farmland Grants: $200,000 - $500,000

Match Requirements

The match requirements depend on the fund. The 2023 round required cash or in-kind match for all funds except Sentinel Landscape. Waivers are available for tribal nations for some grants. See the latest request for proposals for details.

Application Schedule

The deadline for pre-proposals is in early spring (the 2023 deadline was April 20). The full application deadline is mid-summer (the 2023 deadline was July 20). NFWF posts the current deadlines on the application information page.

Application Process

Applicants submit their proposals online through NFWF’s Easygrants system. Once registered, click “Apply for Funding” and select the appropriate funding opportunity to start an application.

Application Assistance

NFWF often provides a tip sheet (see the 2023 tip sheet (PDF)) to aid in the Easygrants application process. General questions about the process should be addressed to any of the contacts listed to the right side of this webpage.

Funding Source

This one-stop-shop solicitation is the result of financial contributions from the Department of the Interior through the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Agriculture through Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Defense, Native Americans in Philanthropy and other private philanthropy sources.

Key Info
Funder National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Program Link America the Beautiful Challenge
Opportunity Type Funding > Grant
Opens 2/15/2025*
Closes 4/1/2025* (pre-proposal)
7/15/2025* (full proposal)
Award $200,000 - $5 million
Match Required? Depends on fund source
This Page was Last Updated May 9, 2024
(*) - Estimated date; date will be updated when the next notice of funding opportunity is announced.
Program Contacts
Rachel Dawson
Program Director 
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
rachel.dawson@nfwf.org
(202) 595-2643 
Sydney Godbey
Program Manager 
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
sydney.godbey@nfwf.org
(202) 595-2612
Blake Gardiner
Coordinator, Regional Programs 
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Blake.gardiner@nfwf.org
Completed Project Example
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians created an interagency collaborative with a $300,000 planning grant. The group conserves rare and culturally significant species on NC ancestral lands. Learn more (PDF).