Urban Forestry Welcomes Jay Dampier As New IRA Grant Coordinator

Jay Dampier joined the Urban Forestry Team on June 3 as the new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) grant coordinator. This is a federally funded project position that will be overseeing $4 million of federally funded grants awarded to Wisconsin communities, tribes and nonprofits. These IRA funds were allocated to the urban forestry program by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service in 2023. As part of the Justice 40 Initiative, 100% of the funds will be used to improve the urban forest resources and lives of those living in disadvantaged communities throughout the state.

Jay holds degrees in forest science and forestry from Lakehead University and a degree in environmental education from Southern Connecticut State University. He also earned a Certificate in Project Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a professional certificate in program planning and evaluation from the University of Florida.

Jay’s work has been published in Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, HortTechnology and the Journal of Rural & Community Development. As an ISA Certified Arborist, he is a proud member of the Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA), where he was awarded the Mug Award for his contributions to the 2021 WAA/DNR Annual Conference when it was required to go entirely online.

For the past decade, Jay has been an integral part of UW-Madison Extension, spending the last five and a half years as a Horticulture Outreach Program Manager. He has also gained valuable experience beyond Wisconsin, serving as a Horticulture Educator with Cornell University Cooperative Extension and as a Business Development Officer for Lakehead University’s Center for Analytical Services. Throughout his career, Jay has effectively managed substantial grants and contracts and is enthusiastic about joining the DNR. “In this role, I am excited to apply my knowledge in tree care, project management and grant administration to help urban forestry thrive in Wisconsin’s disadvantaged communities.”

In his leisure time, he enjoys growing nearly perfect apples in his no-spray home orchard, crafting English-inspired ales and practicing traditional martial arts.

Jay will focus on implementing the DNR urban forestry IRA grant program and assisting partners in managing their IRA grant projects. He is based in Wautoma but will work with partners statewide. The Urban Forestry team is excited to have him onboard!

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