Urban Agriculture Resilience Capstone Program Q&A
The USBG and Association held an informational webinar on September 29, 2022. This webinar was recorded and is available here. The slides for the presentation will also be posted here.
If you have additional questions that are not answered here, please email email@example.com
Q: What are the most important priorities you are looking to fund for the Capstone Cohort awards?
A: Priority will be given to programs who demonstrate our priorities for the Capstone awards which are outlined on the first two pages of the criteria document.
Q: When is the end date for the award?
A: The end date is the same as the report date and is Feb. 1, 2024.
Q: How competitive is this award?
A: This is a highly competitive award category; we anticipate funding up to seven Capstone Awards. Capstone Awards will be awarded to a project only once.
Q: Will this permanently replace the smaller award program each year?
A: Our hope is that we would offer future Urban Agriculture Resilience Program application opportunities, it is unlikely that the Capstone Cohort model would permanently replace the original award program.
Q: Will there be a UARP Award opportunity in 2023?
A: We do not currently have information to share about future Urban Agriculture Resilience Program Award opportunities. It is our hope to be able to offer future opportunities.
Q: Can our organization apply this year if we applied for or received last year’s award?
A: Yes, previously-awarded projects and those that have applied but have not been awarded may apply for the Capstone Cohort awards.
Q: Is my organization eligible to apply for an award?
A: While we are not giving individual application advice, all eligibility requirements are included in this criteria document.
Q: Can I apply if my organization is not a public garden?
A: All eligible applicants must be a U.S. public garden.
Q: What is your definition of what is (or is not) a public garden?
A: Our definition of a public garden can be found here.
Q: Do we have to be a member of APGA to apply?
A: No, all public gardens, as long as they meet all criteria, are eligible.
Q: Does the applicant need to be located in the United States?
A: All eligible applicants must be a U.S. public garden.
Q: Is there a potential for this program to include afterschool & educational curriculum?
Q: Can more than one program in an organization coapply for the award for multiuse? If not, can more than one program be awarded individually within the same organization?
A: No, the awards are intended to support a singular program at an organization. If two groups from the same organization are working together on one project, one should apply as the primary awardee. If more than one group from the same organization applies, it is unlikely that both would be awarded.
Q: Would promoting pollination service within urban farms (by planting native plants) fall within the awards goal?
Would urban gardens/farms focused on therapeutic horticulture (as a partner to a public garden) fit the "food as medicine" mentoring project type in the criteria?
A: Please visit the program priorities section of the criteria document (“Priority will be given to programs that demonstrate…”). It is possible that this could be an aligned project focus, as long as the project clearly demonstrates engagement in the priority areas listed (e.g., combining food growing and education, utilizing and leveraging assets of partners, progress toward long-term sustainability, etc.
Q: Is there a way to easily view the application questions outside of the online form?
A: Yes, please see the PDF preview of the Capstone application here.
Q: Does receiving the award last year make you more or less competitive for this year?
A: Note that this is a different program with different criteria. Receiving a previous Urban Agriculture Resilience Program award does not make your application more or less competitive.
Q: Can you give us an idea on the review criteria, if there is a section(s) that are weighted more? How much is the budget taken in consideration when reviewing?
A: The most important things we will initially be considering for incoming applications are all listed in the criteria document, including alignment with the mentoring priority areas. How you budget to use funds, outside of the specified restrictions, doesn’t play a role in the decision. After developing a list of finalists based upon these criteria and priorities, we will seek to create a diverse and balanced cohort, representing diversity in terms of factors such as geography, audiences served, garden size, and program models.
Q: Can pictures be uploaded with application?
A: No, you will not upload photos with your application. Upon selection, we will request photos from awardees to use in program communications upon.
Q: How many people from our organization can participate in the Cohort meetings?
A: 1-2 people should attend each Capstone Cohort Meeting. The program lead indicated on your application will attend every meeting including the in person meeting. If a second person is attending these meetings, that person should consistently attend.
Q: What does the mentoring with Windy City Harvest look like?
Q: Will there be opportunities to set up tour dates with the Chicago Botanic Garden?
A: The time with Windy City Harvest is planned on September 14-15, 2023. If you want to visit Chicago Botanic Garden that would take place outside of this program.
Q: Are there specific criteria to meet the education requirement? Are there specific formats of educational programming that are allowed/not allowed.
A: We are open to a wide range of education formats and methods. Reviewing our priorities for the Capstone Cohort awards, on the first and second pages of the criteria document, may be helpful to you.
Q: Do social media posts, videos on YouTube count as education or do we need in-person or live/synchronous online programs to qualify?
A: This depends on the content you plan to post. Social media posts about your program and do not involve your audience would not be considered educational. Something like a YouTube educational class/livestream or Facebook live educational event can qualify.
Funding and Budgeting
Q: Are there restrictions for how the funds can be used?
A: There are a few restrictions, they are all listed in the budget form document. Fringe benefits are not to exceed 15% of the budgeted $50,000. Indirect costs are not to exceed 5% of the budget. Additionally, the budget must include costs associated with travel to the in-person Capstone Cohort meeting in Chicago.
Q: Can we include an intern stipend?
A: The award can be used to pay staff, including interns.
Q: What is the range of award funds?
A: All awards will be $50,000. Your budget total must equal $50,000.
Q: Are you considering offering partial awards? If you liked part of our budget but not all of it would you partially fund a project?
A: We don’t fund partial awards. Each awardee will be receiving $50,000.
Q: Could you provide info on whether there will be a designated hotel for the meeting so I can inquire with them?
A: At this time, we do not have a designated hotel. The Windy City Harvest team will be able to provide guidance closer to the event. For advance budgeting purposes, looking at GSA per diem rates for lodging in Chicago in 2023 may be helpful. https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates/ Note that these government rates may be slightly lower than average daily rates, and do not include taxes.
Q: Can any funds be used to pay someone who works on grant money or funding sources for the future?
A: Yes, these costs can be covered under Personnel if it is an internal staff member, or Contractual if it is an external contractor. Please see the budget worksheet.
Q: Will the reporting requirements be listed on the website?
A: We plan to send the reporting requirements directly to awardees after they are notified that they have been awarded. This will happen very early on to let awardees know exactly what things they may need to track or monitor throughout their program participation.
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