The Newsom Administration announced the availability of almost $300 million in Clean California grants and called on local communities to submit applications for projects that will clean and beautify local streets, tribal lands, parks and transit centers throughout California. The new grants are part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Clean California initiative, a sweeping $1.1 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs and engage communities to transform public spaces.
“Clean California is an unprecedented investment into cleaning up our state and engaging directly in our communities to create public spaces that all Californians can take pride in,” said Governor Newsom. “The funding is also an acknowledgement of what we all already know – it’s past time to take serious action to remove the unsightly litter on our streets and highways and in local communities. Clean California will create thousands of jobs and revitalize neighborhoods in every corner of our state.”
Clean California is a massive expansion of state and local litter abatement efforts that will remove 1.2 million cubic yards of trash from state highways each year – up from 270,000 cubic yards in 2020. The initiative is set to generate an estimated 10,000 to 11,000 jobs over three years, including for people exiting homelessness, at-risk youth, veterans, those reentering society from incarceration, local artists and students. The initiative complements the Governor’s multi-pronged approach to combat the state’s homelessness crisis through a historic $12 billion over two years to implement bold, transformative solutions to shelter, stabilize and keep people from returning to the streets.
“Our communities and neighborhoods are weighed down by the buildup of trash and its negative impacts on our economy, environment, safety and public health,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “These Clean California grants are designed to help communities clean up and beautify their hometowns and local streets.”
Beginning today, California cities, counties, transit agencies, tribal governments and other governmental entities can submit proposals of up to $5 million to beautify their communities and address trash and debris. Among other examples, Caltrans will consider projects that remove litter on city streets, create a marker on a thoroughfare entering a town or neighborhood, beautify an area through greening or landscaping, or facilitate cultural connections and civic pride within a community.
“This is an historic opportunity to beautify public spaces in communities that are too often overlooked and to make our streets and sidewalks safer for all. I thank the Newsom Administration for working hand-in-hand with local agencies, tribes and other partners to make these transformative resources available,” said Mayor of Sacramento Darrell Steinberg.
Caltrans anticipates receiving proposals from agencies in all 58 California counties and will award approximately 200 grants to create hundreds of sustainable, green beautification and litter abatement projects statewide. The department will match local investments and address the needs of more severely underserved communities to meet an ambitious goal of funding 300 local projects throughout California over the three-year program. Since July, Caltrans has collected 3,800 tons of trash – enough to fill more than 70 Olympic-size swimming pools – and made more than 600 conditional job offers as part of the program.
“Clean California gives cities the resources to take meaningful action to clean and revitalize our public spaces and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. I thank the Governor for his leadership and partnership with local governments, non-profits and other stakeholders to beautify our communities,” said Mayor of San Jose Sam Liccardo.
The grant application period closes February 1, 2022, and Caltrans will announce the grant recipients on March 1, 2022. Award recipients must complete their project by June 30, 2024.
“California’s roadways and commercial corridors are too dirty, you see it, I see it, and Governor Newsom sees it. Today’s announcement will provide unprecedented funding for local communities like Long Beach so we can expand our litter abatement and clean-up efforts and make California shine,” said Mayor of Long Beach Robert Garcia.
Caltrans developed the grant guidelines with community input through public workshops on September 1 and October 7, 2021. Combined, more than 1,600 stakeholders attended the workshops, including transportation agencies and local and tribal governments.
To apply for the Clean California grants, visit https://cleancalifornia.dot.ca.gov/local-grants/workshops-milestones.