Community Grants Program

Learn about a grant program for localized areas within the region that experience high concentrations of air pollution. This program encourages community-based solutions that can improve health and help reduce our impact on the global climate.

James Cary Smith Community Grant Program

This program is named for the former Air District Community Outreach Manager who helmed the agency’s initial pilot community grant program in 2009-10. Mr. Smith passed away in 2015 from ALS. The program will provide grants for locally based projects that decrease air pollution while increasing community awareness of and engagement in air quality issues.

For the FY 2015-2016 cycle, a total of $261,274 in community grants was awarded to 11 outstanding applicants. Activities that are being funded include local air pollution mitigation projects, community-based partnerships with local high school and junior high schools, and targeted air quality outreach and education initiatives.

Fiscal Year 2017 Community Grant Cycle

For the 2017 grant cycle, the Air District has set aside $250,000 to focus explicitly on sponsoring community science projects:

  • $240,000 is available for sponsored research grants of up to $50,000 each that involve a qualified academic/research partner teaming with a local community-based partner, and
  • $10,000 is available for in-classroom direct small grants of up to $1,000 each that support K-12 public school teachers who are applying hands-on air quality science with their students.

Please see the Community Science Grant ProgramOverview and Guidelinesfor specific information on how to apply. Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis and will be open until March 31, 2017, or until funding is expended.

Air District staff will be holding a Community Science Grant Program workshop on Thursday, October 20, from 5:00PM - 6:30PM in the Ohlone Room of the Air District's Metro Center headquarters, where prospective applicants can ask questions and bring their proposals. 

Please contact:

David Ralston, Community Engagement Manager


  • Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations, including faith-based organizations
  • Community-based organizations or associations in partnership with a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor
  • K-12 schools or school-sponsored projects (including teacher, parent, or student initiated)
  • Individual publicly funded K-12 current school teachers (for small grant program only) 

Contact Us

David Ralston
Community Engagement Manager


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Last Updated: 8/10/2017