Priority Conservation Area (PCA) Grants

Priority Conservation Area (PCA) grants help local governments, park districts, utility districts and other agencies acquire or enhance properties designated as PCAs.

Jeff Tangen
Applications for Priority Conservation Area Grants: Now Open

MTC staff hosted a Priority Conservation Areas Grants Pre-Application Webinar. See the recording and presentation below.

A big part of quality of life in the Bay Area is the mix of vibrant urban areas and nearby parks, recreation areas, farms, ranches, vineyards and other open spaces.

To preserve this mix, MTC established Priority Conservation Area (PCA) grants. PCA Grants form a conservation component of the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) program, and help local agencies acquire or enhance designated PCAs.

Staff Contact

Ben Botkin, PCA Grant Manager
Phone: 415-778-5299
Email: pcagrants@bayareametro.gov 

2024 PCA Grants

MTC has provided $8.5 million in local and federal funds for the current grant round of this program. Grants may range from $200,000 to $1 million. Grant requests greater than $1 million will be considered on a case-by-case basis, for projects of extraordinary regional significance.

Pre-Application Webinar

A Pre-Application Webinar was held on Friday, March 15th, 2024.

Application Process

The PCA Program follows a two-step application and evaluation process that will be overseen by an evaluation committee consisting of staff from MTC and SCC.

Step 1. All interested applicants must submit a completed Letter of Interest Application Form due Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

Step 2. Selected applicants will be invited to continue the application process by submitting a more detailed proposal for further evaluation. Full applications will be due Wednesday, August 28, 2024.

Application Guidelines & Application Form

Eligible Applicants

Local governments (cities, towns and counties), county transportation agencies, Tribal governments, water/utility districts, resource conservation districts, park and/or open space districts, land trusts and other land/resource protection nonprofit and community-based organizations are invited to apply. Applicants are strongly encouraged to collaborate and partner with other entities on project applications.

PCA Grant Eligible Activities

Planning and design, implementation, and acquisition projects must consist of one or more of the following activities within, or connected to, an existing PCA:

  1. Protection, Restoration or Enhancement of Natural Resources, Open Space or Agricultural Lands:
    • Acquisitions or easements of natural landscapes, habitats and ecosystems, agricultural lands, parks and open space and natural resources. Land acquisition projects must involve willing sellers.
    • Restoration or enhancements for parks and open space, climate resilience, staging areas, environmental facilities or natural resources such as listed species, identified priority habitat, wildlife corridors, watersheds or agricultural soils of importance.
    • Projects that support agricultural land protection by enhancing the agricultural economy, including farm-to-market infrastructure.
  2. Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities: Pedestrian and bicycle trails, on-road bicycle facilities, sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, pedestrian and bicycle bridges, traffic calming, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, improvements to trails to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, and conversion and use of abandoned rail corridors for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  3. Urban Greening: Protection or enhancement of potential or existing green spaces in urban areas to increase habitat connectivity, improve community health, capture carbon emissions and address stormwater.
  4. Visual Enhancements: Construction of turnouts, overlooks and viewing areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

One Bay Area Grants

The One Bay Area Grant guides MTC’s distribution of federal transportation funding to projects and programs throughout the Bay Area, including PCAs.

Learn more.
Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)

MTC works with ABAG to build healthier, stronger communities. ABAG adopts PCAs that are nominated by local agencies.

Visit the ABAG website.

The PCA grant program was initiated by MTC in collaboration with the State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) in 2013 to provide funding to cities, counties, park districts, utility districts and other agencies and non-profits to acquire, enhance or improve designated PCAs. 

PCA Grant Program Funded Projects

See the projects that have been funded in the OBAG 1 and OBAG 2 grant cycles: