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2023 DNR Urban Forestry Grant Application Now Open!

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to apply for a 2023 DNR Urban Forestry Grant.

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. The DNR will award grants to projects that align with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides.  

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Trees Will Need More Water this Summer

We are likely to see a hotter than average summer, which means you, your pets, your plants, and yes, your trees, will need more water!

Stress from drought can affect all plants, from a newly planted sapling to a well-established, mature tree. Trees that are already weakened from other types of stress, such as tree leaf predation by spongy moths, are of particular concern.

See our watering tips below for how you can help!

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2021 Tree City USA Statistics and Community Recognition

The 2021 Tree City USA Summary is out, and with it is great news for Wisconsin’s Urban Forests!

Wisconsin communities reported planting 29,370 trees and spending $48,120,648 on Urban Forestry Management.

There are 201 Tree City USA communities within the Wisconsin, and 59.75% of the state lives in a Tree City USA community. Of the previous Tree City USA communities, 99% have been recertified to the program!

We deeply appreciate the commitment to urban forestry demonstrated by our 2021 Tree City, Tree Campus and Tree Line USA participants. Thank you for your hard work.

Keep reading to see more community specific awards and highlights.

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Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Program Welcomes New Summer Interns

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) welcomes two urban forestry summer interns to the agency’s Milwaukee office. The internship marks the beginning of a new collaborative program between the department, the USDA Forest Service and Southern University and A&M College, a public historically black land-grant university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

The two inaugural interns, Odell Kimble and Kolin Bilbrew, are juniors majoring in forestry at Southern University, the first and only historically black land-grant university that offers a degree in urban forestry.

The Wisconsin DNR welcomes 2022 Urban Forestry summer interns Odell Kimble (left) and Kolin Bilbrew (right) who are working with Dan Buckler (middle) and Kim Sebastian (not pictured) at the Milwaukee office.

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Urban Forestry Council Highlights: Departing Members, Urban Forestry Updates, Awards

Wisconsin DNR Division of Forestry thanks departing Urban Forestry Council members Marla Eddy, Mark Freberg, August Hoppe and Gail Sumi for their time and dedication to the council. Pictured above are August Hoppe (far left), Heather Berklund, Wisconsin State Forester (left middle), Gail Sumi (right middle) and Mark Freberg (far right).

The Urban Forestry Council met on June 22, 2022, for the first in-person meeting since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was a bittersweet mix of saying goodbyes to departing council members, sharing exciting updates and voting on new council member recommendations. DNR forestry staff provided updates about the newly released Urban Forestry Economic Report, grant overview and general updates and highlights.

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Urban Forestry Economic Analysis In Wisconsin

By Olivia Witthun, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator in Plymouth, olivia.witthun@wisconsin.gov or 414-750-8744

Laura Buntrock, DNR Urban Forestry Partnership and Policy Specialist in Rhinelander, laura.buntrock@wisconsin.gov or 608-294-0253

Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist in Madison, daniel.buckler@wisconsin.gov or 608-445-4578

Ram Dahal, DNR Forest Economist in Madison, ram.dahal@wisconsin.gov or 715-225-3892

We know that urban forests are a vital component of our economy and environment, making significant financial contributions to local, state and national economies, as well as providing critical ecosystem services. But until recently, the economic contribution of urban forestry has typically been aggregated into the broader green industry.

 

Background On The Study

In the Urban Forestry Economic Study, a ground-breaking study led by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Landscape Scale Restoration grant, a comprehensive analysis of the economic contributions of urban and community forestry was completed across the Northeast-Midwest region, which includes 20 states and Washington, D.C. (Figure 1). This analysis includes economic impact numbers, employment numbers, industry outlook and a resource valuation.

Figure 1. Map depicting the 21 states involved in the survey.

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DNR Welcomes New Urban Forestry Council Liaison & Outreach Specialist

By Jeff Roe, DNR Urban Forestry Team Leader, Madison, jeffrey.roe@wisconsin.gov or 608-535-7582

We are excited to announce the newest addition to our team! Kirsten Biefeld has accepted the position of Urban Forestry Council Liaison and Outreach Specialist. Her first day was Monday, June 6, 2022. Kirsten is based in the Madison office. 

Kirsten is a recent graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she received a Master’s of Environmental Science and a GIS certificate. She has an undergraduate degree in Biology and Spanish, with an Art minor, from Augustana University in Rock Island, Illinois.

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2023 DNR Urban Forestry Grant Application Opening Soon

Applications for an Urban Forestry Grant are opening soon!

Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in or conducting their project in Wisconsin can apply for a regular or startup 2023 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant beginning July 1, 2022.

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. Grants are awarded to projects that align with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and its benefits.  

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First Downs For Trees; Go Trees, Go!

Go trees, go! That could have been the chant coming from Lambeau Field last month as First Downs for Trees celebrated its 12th season by distributing more than 400 trees to Brown County communities.

First Downs for Trees is a cooperative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Public Service and corporate sponsors Essity and Green Bay Packaging, Inc. The program donates trees to participating communities based on the number of first downs in the previous season.

On Tuesday, April 19, 406 trees were trucked out of the Meacham Nursery bound for places like De Pere, Pulaski, Howard, Ashwaubenon, Green Bay, Wrightstown, Allouez, Hobart, Bellevue and the Oneida Nation. In total, 16 communities received trees from Meacham’s and Leaves Inspired nurseries.

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