Urban Forestry Program Awards $600K in Grants
For the City-Times
The Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant Program has awarded $602,486 to 46 Wisconsin communities, nonprofit organizations and counties for community urban forestry projects.
Grant funds for 2014 projects will support tree inventories and assessments, management plans, emerald ash borer (EAB) preparedness plans, urban forest restoration projects, staff training, public education and other urban forestry efforts.
Communities were encouraged to apply for grants to bolster their preparedness for EAB. Wisconsin has approximately 5.2 million ash trees in cities, villages and urban towns. All are at heightened risk since EAB was confirmed in Wisconsin. A total of 21 counties are now quarantined.
The City of Stevens Point received just shy of $13,000 in grant money from the program, which City Forester Todd Ernster said will go towards safety training and EAB awareness.
The program also encouraged applicants to consider a canopy approach to their urban forestry projects, directing efforts to both public and private trees.
The grant awards will help communities conduct tree inventories, develop emerald ash borer preparedness plans or increase species diversity. These projects are critical to early planning efforts that include forecasting budgets for labor, equipment, staff training and restoration.
The grants can range from $1,000 to $25,000 and grant recipients must match each grant dollar for dollar. A start-up grant of up to $5,000 is available for communities that want to start or restart an urban forestry program. The DNR awarded 11 start-up grants for 2014.
A list of 2014 recipients is available at: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/urbanforests/grants/documents/UFGrantAwardList-2014.pdf
Further information about the DNR Urban Forestry Grant Program is available at dnr.wi.gov, search keywords “UF Grant,” or contact Jeff Roe, DNR urban forestry team leader, at 608-264-6294 or [email protected].