The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the Urban Forestry Grant Program recipients for the 2023 grant year. The program helps fund projects consistent with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy.
The Urban Forestry Grant Program had almost $700,000 in grant funds, with $419,860 in state funding and an additional $273,512 in federal funding. A dollar-for-dollar match puts the estimated total cost of these projects at $1.5 million. In all, 58 applications were selected to receive funding, with awards ranging from $2,106 to $25,000.
Eight additional applicants may also receive funding in a second round in the spring of 2023 if funds reserved for the Catastrophic Storm Grant Program are not needed through the winter months.
Two types of grants were available for this application cycle, regular and startup. Regular grants award up to $25,000 to support new, innovative projects that will develop sustainable urban and community forestry programs. Startup grants are simplified grants available to communities that want to start or restart an urban forestry program and are competitive cost-share up to $5,000.
Urban tree canopies provide benefits such as local heat mitigation, removal of pollutants from the air, water and soil, and improving mental health. The urban forest encompasses trees on both public and private property. Priorities for the 2023 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 markets
- Benefit multiple communities
- Put existing inventories of urban trees to use
The list of selected grant recipients is available on the DNR Urban Forestry Grant homepage.