Thirty-three communities, nonprofit groups, and counties will share $487,578.97 in 2017 state grant dollars to promote and sustain urban forest resources in Wisconsin.
The Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant program funds projects that align with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides. The urban forest encompasses trees on both public and private property. Priorities for the 2017 grant cycle include, but were not limited to, projects that increase the ability of local municipal partners to expand their urban forestry program; increase the ability of all local partners to provide ongoing urban forestry funding, services and/or markets; benefit multiple communities; and put existing inventories of urban trees to use.
The grants range from $1,000 to $25,000, and grant recipients must match each grant dollar for dollar. A startup grant of up to $5,000 is available for communities that want to start or restart a community forestry program. Out of the thirty-three 2017 Urban Forestry grants awarded, seven are for startup grants.
To view the list of selected grant recipients, or for more information about the DNR urban forestry grant program, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords “UF Grant.”
Apart from Wisconsin DNR grants there are also federal grant opportunities. The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program provides funding for eligible applicants for projects that address local environmental and public health issues within an affected community. The EJSG Program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Applying organizations are encouraged to have a direct connection to the vulnerable affected, community impacted by environmental harms and risks. Proposals for this grant are due January 31, 2017. The grant will give up to $30,000 per award and there is no cost-sharing or match required.
Another federal grant opportunity is through the Five Star and Urban water Restoration grant program. They seek to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. The grant is open to non-profits, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes and educational institutions. Grants range from funding levels of $20,000 – $50,000, averaging $30,000 with 40-50 grants awarded per year. They run one to two years in length and start in July 2017. Grant requests greater than $30,000 should be for projects longer than 1 year. The match for the grant must meet or exceed at a 1:1 ratio. Proposals are due January 31, 2017.
For more information contact an Urban Forestry Coordinator, Alex Elias (Alexandria.Elias@wisconsin.gov), Urban Forestry Grants Managers, or Ellen Clark (EllenA.Clark@Wisconsin.gov), Urban Forestry Communication Specialist, at 608-267-2774.