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GATEway Grant Program

GATE is an acronym for Georgia Transportation Enhancement. The GATEway Grant Program assist communities in their efforts to beautify roadsides along state routes.  The mission of the GATEway Grant Program is to provide funding for roadside enhancement and beautification projects along Georgia’s roadsides.

The funding for grants comes from contributory value fees paid by outdoor advertising companies to the Department for vegetation removal at outdoor advertising signs. The funds may be used only for landscape plant material and its installation for the furtherance of roadside enhancement and beautification projects along state routes in Georgia.

GATEway Grants Awarded for Community Landscape Projects

Georgia DOT has awarded more than $ 1,346,000.00 for the 2014 GATEway Grants to 43 local government entities around the state. Funds from the grants are used to reimburse local government when purchasing and installing plant material for landscape projects on state routes.

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Who Can Participate

Grant Application

Any organization, local government, or state agency may apply for grants (maximum $50,000) for landscape enhancement of the state right-of-way that involves the local community, displays the right-of-way in an attractive fashion and promotes pride in Georgia.


 Application Instructions


Your application package shall include:

Required Documents

Attach the following required documents in the order listed:

  1. Location Map Example
  2. Site Analysis Example
  3. Project Description Example
  4. Conceptual Landscape Drawing Example
  5. Cost Estimate Example
  6. Long-Term Maintenance Action Plan Specific to Your Project Example
  7. Letters of Recommendation Specific to Your Project 

NOTE:  Please do not date the Memoranda of Understanding.


 Step-by-Step Instructions


Read the Landscape Guidelines Policy 6755-9. Follow the steps below to compile a grant application submittal package. The submittal package must be in this order.

  1. Download the Application
    Complete all text boxes. Sign and date the acknowledgement page. Use the application as your cover and bind document with a binder clip or staple. (please do not laminate)
  2. Provide an introductory letter describing the group, the community, and any history you feel is pertinent to the project. (no more than one page)
  3. Insert a colored separator sheet titled Location Map - Example
    • Provide street map plan or aerial photos to identify the project location.
  4. Insert a colored separator sheet titled Site Analysis - Example
    • Include photographs of existing conditions with text labels explaining where the photo was taken in relation to the project and any relevant information, such as nearby billboards and overhead power lines. Clearly indicate existing site features that are to remain and that are to be removed using the text labels, a simple plan drawing, and/or a narrative.
    • Mention any known future plans for the space unrelated to the landscape proposal.
  5. Insert a colored separator sheet titled Project Description - Example
    • Provide a written narrative of proposed plans for the site. (one page maximum) Refer to the Project Rating Criteria (part 3) for relevant information needed in your project description.
  6. Insert a colored separator sheet titled Conceptual Landscape Drawing - Example
    • Provide a simple graphic drawing of proposed concepts for the site. Include setback minimums for the specific MPH of the road. Median landscaping is discouraged and will not be funded by this grant program. Provide a typical cross-section if that helps describe your proposal more clearly.
  7. Insert a colored separator sheet titled Cost Estimate- Example
    • Provide an itemized budget of estimated funds needed for plants, installation, soil preparation, mulch, and sod.
  8. Insert a colored separator sheet titled Long-Term Maintenance Plan - Example
    • Provide as much detail as possible about planned maintenance schedules. Relying solely on volunteer groups is not acceptable. Refer to the Project Rating Criteria (part 6) for relevant information needed in your project description.
  9. Insert a colored separator sheet titled:  Letters of Recommendation
    • Provide two to four letters of recommendation written to show community support for the project.
  10. Check the submittals against the Project Rating Criteria and edit as needed.

Additional Steps

Download the Resolution and two copies of the Memorandum of Understanding. Provide the Resolution and Memoranda of Understanding separately from the bound application documents.

  • The original signed Resolution must be on the form provided GDOT.
  • The two original signed Memoranda of Understanding should not be dated and must be on the forms provided by the GDOT. If awarded a grant, one of the MOU’s will be returned to you signed and dated by the GDOT Commissioner.

 Grant Review


The Roadside Enhancement and Beautification Council (REBC) reviews the GATEway Grant applications and makes their recommendations to the Georgia DOT Commissioner. The REBC is comprised of the following representatives:

  • Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia
  • Sierra Club, Garden Club of Georgia
  • Georgia Wildlife Federation
  • Georgia Conservancy
  • UGA College of Environment and Design
  • House and Senate Transportation Committee Chairpersons
  • Georgia DOT Deputy Commissioner

 After Your Award


After You Are Awarded a Grant

Once awarded a grant, grant recipients must furnish both electronic and hard-copy, working-drawing versions of landscape design documents and their written perpetual maintenance plans for their awarded projects to their Department District Office for a Special Encroachment Permit application. Grantees must submit their documents the the GDOT District Access Management Supervisor to start the Special Encroachment Permit process within eight (8) months of the date of award.

Four original, signed Memoranda of Agreement must be submitted to the Landscape Architecture Section after your Special Encroachment Permit is approved. These will be routed for appropriate GDOT signatures authorizing the use of funds for your project. When this authorization is complete, you will receive a letter from GDOT explaining how your invoices can be submitted for reimbursal.

Disbursement of Grant Funds

The Grantee has a maximum of thirty (30) months to complete the project from the date of the signed Agreement. Planting should be scheduled during the optimal time for the proposed plant material listed in policy 6755-9 - Landscaping on the Right of Way.

Once construction begins, invoices can be submitted to the Landscape Architecture Section by the grant recipient on a quarterly basis. An Invoice Cover Letter will be provided. Ti can be sent in with receipts documenting how the funds were spent must accompany your request for reimbursal of funds.


 Judging Criteria


Project Rating Criteria Sheets will be used by Georgia DOT and the Roadside Enhancement and Beautification Council (REBC) to review and judge all GATEway Grant Applications.

NOTE: Use the Project Rating Criteria sheet as a guide when responding to the requirements of the grant application.


 Items Not Covered


GATEway Grants That Are Not Considered

  • Applications with multiple site locations (locations on different routes and/or different mile posts). Please include only one site location per application.
  • Previous grant recipients who have not obtained a Special Encroachment Permit for their previous GATEway Grant project and whose projects have not been installed.

Funds That Cannot Be Used

  • Hardscape items such as paving, benches, fences, flagpoles, signage, lighting, and fountains shall not be funded by this grant. Funding on a project shall be confined to softscape items such as landscape plant material and its installation, mulch, and sod.
  • Maintenance, design, administration, highway construction, office furnishings and fixtures, entertainment, lobbying, equipment, or mitigation.
  • Planting at private developments, individual businesses, or in front of advertising signs that solely benefits and brings attention only to those businesses, developments, or signs.
  • Annual plant material (seasonal color).
  • Median landscaping.

NOTE: Reimbursal, if approved for irrigation is limited to 10 percent of the total grant request.  The maximum fund allottment per local government entity each year shall be $50,000.



If you wish to be included in the email distribution list or need additional information please contact us at or (404) 631-1399.  Please submit all of the required completed application packages to:

Georgia DOT – Office of Maintenance
Landscape Architecture
One Georgia Center
600 W. Peachtree St NW, 10th floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30308