Food, Agriculture, and Resilient Ecosystems (FARE) Grant Program

Supporting sustainable food and agriculture systems

Food, Agriculture, and Resilient Ecosystems (FARE) Grant Program

Starting in 2023-2024, this new local grant program funded by Parks Measure A will support sustainable food and agriculture systems in Marin. The program is still in the process of being finalized before accepting applications. To prepare now, potential applicants can:

Information Sessions

Program staff will host a series of information sessions throughout September – November 2023. Join these sessions to learn about the grant program, connect with possible partners, and get support for the application process. Some sessions will focus on specific topics, but all are welcome to attend any session. Details for additional sessions will be added to this page as they are scheduled.

Information Session: Focus on School and Community Gardens
Thursday, September 21, 2023     3:00 – 4:30 p.m.     Online via Zoom
Join us to learn more about the new grant program, ask questions, share project ideas, and network with possible partners. This session will have a specific focus on school and community gardens, and community food production. This informal information session will be co-hosted by Marin County Parks and the UC Cooperative Extension’s Community and School Garden Program.
Register to receive full Zoom details:

Information Session: All Topics
Tuesday, September 26, 2023     11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.     Online via Zoom
Join us for a brief presentation about the new grant program, ask questions, share project ideas, and network with possible partners.
Register to receive full Zoom details:

Information Session: All Topics
Thursday, October 12, 2023     9:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.     Online via Zoom
Join us for a brief presentation about the new grant program, ask questions, share project ideas, and network with possible partners.
Register to receive full Zoom details:


Potential grant applicants are encouraged to take a short online survey to help staff support applicants. This survey will be open until October 10, 2023.

Email Updates

Subscribe to the email list to receive updates about this grant program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can the grants be used for?

This program supports sustainable food systems, climate beneficial management, and improving natural resource values on Marin's working lands. Project topics could include initiatives for local food supply sustainability, community gardens, carbon capture farming, increasing access to low-cost farmland and farming for low-income and underserved communities, and more.

This program can fund:

  • Next steps for planning and early action stages of a project
  • Launch of a new project or program that is ready to begin
  • Continuation of a program that is already operational
  • Implementation of physical projects on working lands or in communities

Up to 20% of funds can be applied toward administrative expenses that directly support the grant scope of work.

What are examples of projects?

These are just a few examples to illustrate how this funding could be used

  • Study school grounds, open spaces, faith-based properties, and other sites that could be available for agricultural uses
  • Shared crop planning to support a farm to school food pipeline
  • Multi-year programmatic connection between school food programs and local farms
  • Year-round staffing to support gardening and education at school and community gardens
  • Program to move compost from farms to community gardens
  • Place-based projects showing how to connect youth and families to agriculture opportunities
  • Create/expand farmers market space, grocery store and grocery cooperative, paying youth health educators to host cooking demonstrations
  • Commercial kitchen space, storage, and business education to support home cooks to become entrepreneurs
  • Access to incubator farmland for new farmers
  • Implementing management practices on agricultural lands that will increase carbon sequestration and soil health long-term to support of Marin County's 2030 Climate Action Plan

How will projects be selected to receive grants?

Staff will lead an application review process in partnership with the Parks and Open Space Commission and others. Grant agreements will ultimately be approved by the Marin County Board of Supervisors.

How can an applicant strengthen their application?

Applicants are encouraged to:

  • Participate in opportunities to talk with staff and technical assistance providers to ask questions and explore proposal ideas
  • Incorporate involvement of priority communities in project design and implementation. Priority communities experience intersecting challenges of racial, health, economic and other inequities.
  • Collaborate among partners doing related work
  • Address unmet needs that are not well-suited to other sources of funding, OR demonstrate that this grant would facilitate access to larger State and/or Federal grants
  • Address County priorities, including:
  • Prepare a proposal that is complete, feasible, and relevant to the grant program

What are examples of how a project can involve priority communities?

This program prioritizes participation of and investment in communities that experience intersecting challenges of racial, health, economic and other inequities. These are a few examples of how a project can involve these priority communities in the design and implementation of a project:

  • Develop and/or implement the project by or in close partnership with an organization based in a community of color
  • Use data and community input to demonstrate how a proposal will address historic barriers and inequities
  • Center traditional knowledge and direct involvement of indigenous groups in ecological restoration or other project design
  • Directly benefit of people of color and others experiencing intersecting challenges of underinvestment and inequity
  • Prioritize ways for project funds to support people of color to implement the project, including through new workforce opportunities, professional development opportunities, and living wages
  • Support local businesses owned by people of color

What is the timeline for applications and funding?

After more than a year of community engagement, grant guidelines and other guiding program documents are in the final stages of review.

After the Board of Supervisors approves those documents, this webpage will be updated and the program will begin to accept applications for grant funds.

The anticipated timeline is for a Fall 2023 application period, with a grant selection process in Spring 2024.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applications will be invited from:

  • Public agencies
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Special district or Joint Powers Authority (JPA) formed pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of the Government code
  • Educational institutions
  • Federally recognized California Native American tribes
  • Non-federally recognized California Native American tribes that are on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission

These organizations should be based in Marin, or demonstrate at least one year of leading projects based in Marin.

If you are not eligible to apply, please contact us to discuss opportunities to collaborate with an eligible organization. Applicants that do not meet eligibility criteria can collaborate with a fiscal agent to apply.

All applicants must demonstrate capacity to manage their project's stated scope of work and maintain records on use of all grant funds.

How much grant funding will be offered?

For the 2023-2024 application period, an estimated $800,000 will be available in for this grant program. The amount of funding available for each project is still being finalized. It is anticipated it will be in the range of $10,000 - $150,000 per grant award.

What are the matching fund requirements?

All proposals must include some kind of match. The match can be any combination of financial contribution and/or in-kind contribution. There is no minimum matching requirement.

How will Parks staff support the program?

Marin County staff support will be available throughout the grant application process.

Applicants are encouraged to get in touch early in the project planning stages, so they have ample time to complete the application process.

Ways that staff may be able to help include:

  • Support project alignment with community-identified priorities.
  • Connect potential partners to collaborate on project planning and implementation.
  • Answer questions about the application process.
  • Identify a potential fiscal sponsor.
  • Facilitate collaboration with like-minded organizations.
  • Review grantee plans for meeting reporting requirements.
  • Advise on completing an online application.
  • Offer feedback to grantees to successfully implement their projects.

A series of open houses will take place during the application period to answer questions and connect potential partners. Contact the Parks program lead Sonya Hammons at, even if you are in the early stages of considering applying.