DNR Urban Forestry Program Announces 2024 Grant Recipients

By Nicolle Spafford, DNR Urban Forestry Grant Manager; Nicolle.Spafford@wisconsin.gov or 715-896-7099

city with trees

Photo Credit: Preston Keres, USDA Forest Service

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced Urban Forestry Grant Program recipients for the 2024 grant year. The program helps fund projects consistent with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy.

The Urban Forestry Grant Program is distributing almost $805,000 in grant funds, with $554,680 in state funding and an additional $250,066 in federal funding. A dollar-for-dollar match puts the estimated cost of these projects over $1.6 million. In total, 58 applications were selected to receive funding, with awards ranging from $1,580 to $25,000.

Seven additional applicants may also receive funding in a second round in the spring 2024 if funds reserved for the Catastrophic Storm Grant Program are not needed through the winter months.

Two types of competitive grants were available for this application cycle: regular and startup. Regular grants award up to $25,000 to support new, innovative projects to develop sustainable urban and community forestry programs. Startup grants are simplified grants that award up to $5,000 to communities that want to start or restart an urban forestry program.

The urban forest encompasses trees on both public and private property. Urban tree canopies provide benefits such as local heat mitigation, removal of pollutants from the air, water and soil and improving mental health.

Priorities for the 2024 grant cycle include but were not limited to projects that:

  • Increased the ability of local municipal partners to expand their urban forestry program
  • Increased the ability of local partners to provide ongoing urban forestry funding, services and markets
  • Benefited 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.

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