Community Grants Program

Learn about a grant program that provides funding for community-based projects in the areas most impacted by air pollution in our region.

James Cary Smith Grant Program

This program is named for Jim Smith, the Air District's former Community Outreach Manager who launched the first community grants program in 2009. Mr. Smith passed away in 2015 from ALS, and this program extends his vision of a more engaged and empowered community.

The inaugural three-year grant cycle of the James Cary Smith Community Grant Program is currently underway; Year 2 launched in 2023. During Year 1 of the grant cycle, the Air District partnered with a local firm, RDA Consulting, to conduct a comprehensive program evaluation. The Community Engagement Office is particularly interested in understanding how the grant program supports communities of color and communities disproportionately burdened by air pollution, or environmental justice (EJ) communities. Evaluation findings from Year 1 are in the documents below.

2021-2023 Grant Cycle Information

During the 2021-2023 grant cycle, the Air District awarded grants of up to $100,000 per project per year to fund strategies that leverage the power of community members to fully participate in decisions that impact their environment and health. The Air District prioritized applications for projects located in communities awaiting Assembly Bill 617 designation, or projects based in communities with an overall score of 70 to 100 in CalEnviroScreen 4.0.

The 2021-2023 James Cary Smith Community Grant Program application period opened on August 25, 2021, and closed on October 1, 2021. For more information, please see the following materials:    

The Air District hosted two informational webinars for prospective applicants during the application period. Please see the following materials for more information: 

To view recipients of current and previous grant cycles, please visit the Community Grant Awards page.

Program Documents and Information

Contact Us

Community Grants Program

Contact Us

Spare the Air Status

Last Updated: 5/6/2022