Tonawanda Community Environmental Benefits Fund

The Tonawanda Community Environmental Benefits Program (Tonawanda Community EBP) is an environmental grant program established from $1 million in funding obtained as part of a consent decree between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York Office of the Attorney General (collectively referred to as the State) and the Tonawanda Coke Corporation (TCC) regarding various environmental violations at TCC’s former facility in Tonawanda, New York.

The program is directed for areas of the community affected by the Tonawanda Coke Corporation, including the Town of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, Village of Kenmore, the southern portion of the Town of Grand Island, and a portion of the City of Buffalo including Riverside.

The goal of the Tonawanda Community EBP is to fund environmental benefit projects that address the affected communities’ environmental and health priorities, such as enhancing green space, restoring the waterfront, and promoting environmental education.

How to Apply

Applications are submitted electronically online through the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo’s Grant Portal.  No paper, emailed, or pdf applications are accepted.

Grant Opportunity

Proposals for the Tonawanda Community EBP should align with one of the following environmental improvement priorities for the Tonawanda community:

  • Parks and Open Space. The creation and/or enhancement of parks and public spaces, including playgrounds and sports fields, as well as undeveloped areas. The purpose of such projects may be to reduce air and water pollution impacts in Tonawanda, while also providing recreational opportunities and enhancing community quality-of-life.
  • Environmental Education and Stewardship. The fostering of careful and responsible management of Tonawanda’s environment and the promotion of broad public environmental awareness.
  • Green Streets and Other Community Green Infrastructure. The installation of a selection of environmental benefit projects along neighborhood streets to slow, filter, and cleanse stormwater runoff, improve water and air quality, reduce energy consumption, reduce elevated urban temperatures, and improve neighborhood aesthetics.
  • Waterfront Restoration and Infrastructure. The creation of public access to the waterfront and efforts to restore its natural functions.

There will be two funding tiers for the grant process.

Tier 1:

Grants ranging in value from $5,000 to $25,000 will be available for small to medium scale projects. Examples of Tier 1 grant projects include (but are not limited to): air or water quality monitoring; installing a rain garden at a park; installing rain barrels; creating environmental education opportunities; development of new community gardens; holding a trash clean up event

Match: Applicants are not required to provide a matching contribution but will be awarded bonus points on their evaluation if a cash match is secured.

Tier 2:

Grants ranging in value from $25,001 to $250,000 will be available for projects that have a more significant scale and scope than Tier 1 Grants. These projects typically will involve multiple sites and/or projects at a single site that integrate multiple environmental benefits. Examples of Tier 2 grant projects include (but are not limited to): green street projects; reducing energy use in public buildings through energy efficiency improvements; reducing releases of pollutants and minimizing public exposure to them; neighborhood-wide education and environmental stewardship programs with broad-based citizen participation; and improving open spaces.

Match: Applicants for grants $100,000 or greater are required to provide a cash match and will be evaluated on a sliding scale (max 10%) in regard to the size of the match. Applicants for grants less than $100,000 are not required to provide a matching contribution but will be awarded bonus points on their evaluation if a cash match is secured.


Community Preferencing

Proposals will be reviewed by an Independent Review Committee (IRC) comprised of neutral persons with no relationship to any of the proposals under consideration. IRC scores and associated review comments will be used by the State to guide its selection of projects to participate in the Tonawanda Community EBP Preferencing Event(s).

The Tonawanda Community EBP Preferencing Event(s) will ensure that residents in the Tonawanda community have a direct role in guiding the selection of those projects that will be implemented in the community. Residents will have an opportunity to express their preferences for proposals that should be considered for funding. The results of the preferencing will guide the State in its decision-making process for selecting grant recipients.



  • Application available online February 1, 2021
  • Application due March 26, 2021 at 4pm
  • Community Preferencing Event(s) September 2021
  • Grant recipients notified November 2021


  • Projects must be located in the Tonawanda community and benefit the public in that community. For purposes of the program, the Tonawanda community includes the Town of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, Village of Kenmore, southern portions of the Town of Grand Island and a portion of the City of Buffalo, including Riverside, encompassed by the U.S Postal Service zip codes of 14207, 14216, 14150, 14217, 14223, 14120, and 14072.
  • Projects led by organizations and agencies that are not based in the designated Tonawanda community must demonstrate that the impact of the project will benefit the community of Tonawanda.
  • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, local governments, and academic and educational institutions
  • Applicants must be fully current in the New York State Office of the Attorney General Charities Bureau registration and reporting requirements.

Information Sessions

There will be two online information sessions that will provide a broad overview of the grant program and tips for using the online application system. Applicants planning to participate in a workshop or webinar must register in advance.

Wednesday, February 10th at 9:00am

Join Zoom Meeting

Tuesday, February 16th at 12:00pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Read the Full RFP


If you have questions, contact Allie Urbanski by email at  or by phone at (716) 852-2857 ext. 223.