Thirty-eight communities, nonprofit groups, and counties will share over $532,000 in 2019 state grant dollars to promote and sustain urban forest resources in Wisconsin.
The Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant program funds projects consistent 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 2019 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.
“Wisconsin’s urban forests provide a wide range of ecological, economic and social benefits for the 70% of Wisconsin’s population that lives in an urban area and visitors to these communities,” said Sarah Zimmerman, Urban Forestry Grant Manager. “Beyond aesthetics, urban forests reduce air pollution, mitigate storm water runoff, conserve energy, and increase property values. The 2019 urban forest grants help communities maximize these benefits.”
DNR forestry officials encouraged communities to apply for grants to develop emerald ash borer management plans and raise public awareness regarding its impact on ash trees in their community. Increasing species diversity is the best way to reduce the impact of future tree diseases or insect infestations.
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 38 2019 Urban Forestry grants awarded, 12 are for startup grants.
To 2019 Urban Forestry Grant Recipients, or for more information about the DNR urban forestry grant program, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords “UF Grant.”