Natural Resources

Our goal is to preserve and cultivate WNC’s sense of place by investing in environmental projects and programs that protect or enhance the health of the region's natural systems.

Photo by Travis Bordley.

People have always been drawn to the mountains of Western North Carolina (WNC). Today, WNC is home to a growing and diversifying network of cities, small towns and rural communities that depend on its natural areas. These assets define our sense of place and directly align with CFWNC’s vision of a vibrant and equitable Western North Carolina where all people can find opportunity and enjoy the region’s many resources.

Continuing its Natural Resources work, CFWNC will focus on a “return to what was” or “protecting what is” by considering proposals that address the following areas:

  • Water Resources: Water Quality, Dam Removal, Stream Restoration
  • Land & Water: Conservation, Wildlife Diversity, Climate Resilience
  • Land Resources: Invasive Species Removal, Native Species Restoration, Forest Management

Eligible organizations must be: (1) tax-exempt as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, public agencies or faith communities; and (2) located in the Qualla Boundary or one of the following counties in Western North Carolina: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania or Yancey. Organizations must already be established in and serving Western North Carolina.

Preference will be given to projects or programs that serve or benefit multiple counties.

If an organization is located in Haywood, Buncombe or Madison counties, potential applicants may also want to consider the Pigeon River Fund grant program.

Additional eligibility must be determined in consultation with Senior Program Officer Tara Scholtz. Contact her at 828-367-9913 or by email to discuss your proposal. A limited number of opportunities are available and may be invited as often as quarterly or until all available funds have been awarded for that year. If an application is competitive, she will provide you with a code to access the application in our online system and provide a deadline for submission.

To learn more about our Natural Resources focus area, contact Senior Program Officer Tara Scholtz at 828-367-9913.