Our Community Spaces Matching Grant Program, formally known as the Matching Grant Program, centers community in open space. The program focuses on protecting land and creating open spaces within our cities and communities, through partnerships with local public agencies, nonprofits and federally recognized Tribal organizations. Community Spaces projects have the potential to transform neighborhoods, providing places to recreate, find solitude, hold public gatherings, grow local food, and to experience and learn more of the importance of natural resources and agriculture. Since 1994, this unique program has helped develop 69 urban open spaces and dedicated over $50 million towards projects in all nine incorporated cities and in multiple unincorporated areas, allowing our partners to leverage Matching Grant funding to develop innovative projects that reflect the needs and vision of Sonoma County’s diverse communities.

Eligible applicants for the Community Spaces Grant Program include public agencies, 501(c)(3) nonprofits, and federally registered tribal organizations.

To better respond to time-sensitive urban open space projects, those ready for implementation, and build more applicant support into the process, the matching grant program is piloting a rolling application model which will accept applications on a continuous basis during a two year pilot term. To get started in the project application process:

Step 1:

The Pre-Application assesses project eligibility and readiness. Once your Pre-Application has been received, it will be reviewed and you will be contacted with follow-up questions and if eligible and project ready, an invitation to complete the Full Application. Pre-Applications must be received by June 24, 2024 to be eligible for the next round of funding. Pre-Applications received after that date will be considered for the next year’s funding round.

Step 2:

Once received,  Ag + Open Space staff will evaluate the Full Application, follow up with any questions, and keep applicants informed of any needed next steps. Once a year, applications are batched and staff make initial funding recommendations based on project scores and funding available at that time. Staff will present these findings to its advisory bodies for guidance, which inform the funding recommendations to the Board of Directors, who make the final funding decisions. For the next funding round, Full Applications must be received by August 16, 2024.  Projects not awarded funding in one batch may be considered in the next without reapplying. 

Once a project is accepted into the Community Spaces Matching Grant Program, the grantee is contacted by the Grants Coordinator and an Acquisition Department Lead, who will steward you through the implementation process. To support the timely implementation of urban open space projects, please utilize the following templates:

Additional Application + Reference Documents

Project map + examples

Matching Grant Program projects throughout Sonoma County.

Click to enlarge.

For project examples, read about the most recently funded projects >>

Informational Workshop for Potential Applicants

A virtual workshop was held on April 24 to provide an overview of the Community Spaces Grant Program and review the application process. 

To view a recording of the webinar >> Recorded webinar
– Passcode: z?m6dtrZ
– The passcode is required to view
– Click the CC Closed Captioning button to turn on subtitles or the globe button to switch to Spanish

View the questions and answer portion of the webinar >> Webinar Q & A  (en español)
View the webinar slide deck >> Webinar slide deck (en español)

Questions? Please email Pamela Swan, Grants Coordinator, at MatchingGrant@sonoma-county.org